Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Resources, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran

2 Member of Scientific Staff, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands, Tehran, Iran

5 Professorship of Environmental Decisions and Economics, ETH, Switzerland

6 PhD Candidate, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran


Soil conservation is one of the most important regulative functions of natural ecosystems. This function is of high importance in Taleghan Watershed due to high erosion quantity and sediment accumulation in Taleghan Dam reservoir. Soil loss reduction, sedimentation control and fertility conservation were considered as different aspects of soil conservation. Effect of land use and vegetation cover on soil conservation was studied by overlaying soil erosion map with other environmental data layers. Abandoned rainfed lands with low cover were considered as benchmark to evaluate the role of rangeland vegetation cover in soil conservation. Economic value of soil loss reduction function was estimated using opportunity cost approach and the benefits of rainfed agriculture. Economic value of sedimentation control also was calculated considering SDR ratio and avoided cost approach. Soil fertility conservation was quantified regarding the volume of soil conserved and nutrient content of soils of the study area. Economic value of this function was estimated using replacement cost approach. Results show that Mid-Taleghan rangelands conserve 60545 cubic meters of soil per annum. Annual economic value of soil loss reduction, sedimentation control and fertility conservation functions were estimated about 6262, 25287 and 8626 US dollars, respectively. These functions are just some limited aspects of rangeland functions and economic valuation of these functions could effectively be utilized for conservation of rangeland ecosystems.