Document Type : Research Paper
1 MSc graduate in Range Management, Department of Natural Resources, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran.
2 Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Resources, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran
3 Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resources, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran.
4 Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Resources, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran.
Natural resources are valuable capitals for all nations. Rangelands as the most extensive natural ecosystems in Iran provide numerous services, including fodder production and red meat supply, soil conservation and water regulation. Although uncontrolled exploitation of these resources has imposed much pressure and caused many losses within the ecosystems. Impacts of overutilization of nomadic livestock on Semirom rangelands from runoff control perspective has been the core objective of this study. Considering the utilization conditions, vegetation cover was measured within the vegetation types before and after livestock grazing during 2013 grazing season. Curve Number method was selected to evaluate the runoffs originating from rainfalls with different return periods before and after livestock grazing and the difference was considered as the grazing impact. This externality was valuated using replacement cost method. Results showed that utilization pressure is extremely more than grazing capacity which has distorted water regulation function of the rangelands, e.g. it has increased the runoff volume from a rainfall with 2-year return period from 1660884 to 2600487 m3. In other words, it has diminished the potential of rangelands in controlling water runoffs. Economically speaking, the external damage to water regulation function of rangelands was calculated at the rate of 25391 million Rial/year. This information on the externalities of nomadic livestock will provide the useful basis for economic appraisal of the utilization process and adjustment or rectification of economic activities which entail social costs on their way towards private profits.