Effects of Dirt roads on Vegetation and Diversity in Arid Rangelands (Case Study: Aliabad Pyshkoh of Yazd, Iran)
Effects of Dirt roads on Vegetation and Diversity in Arid Rangelands (Case Study: Aliabad Pyshkoh of Yazd, Iran).
Since the road are considered as one of sustainable development indicators and many rural dusty roads are passed through rangelands, the effect of road networks on rangeland ecosystems is so important. In order to investigate the effects of roads, two regions were determined; one around the road, from the edge of road to 5 m and the other far from it, from 5 to 20 m. 10 transects of 50 m and 40 random plots of 1 m2 were placed on each transect on each site and some vegetation characteristics were measured in Ali Abad Pishkuh rangelands in Yazd province. The results showed that road changes vegetation composition, production, and canopy cover percentage. So, grass production and canopy cover were decreased near the road. Important value of shrubs was declined near the road while it was increased in terms of grasses. Richness, evenness and diversity indices were reduced and distribution pattern moved to clumped. These factors indicate that plant communities moves less stable and they are crossed boundaries of ecological threshold around the road. Therefore, it is suggested that rural dusty roads construction should be with more study and proper reclamation.