Document Type : Research Paper
University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Iran.
Ph.D in Watershed Management Engineering
University of MOhaghegh Ardabili
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of topographic, edaphic, climatic and landscape metrices on the distribution of plant communities in the altitude gradient of Moghan-Sabalan rangelands in Ardebil province. To determine and study the ecological species groups, 28 sites and 840 one square meter sampling plots were samples by the random systematic method. To determine soil factors, soil samples were collected from each site from 0–15 and 15-30 cm depth and physicochemical parameters were measured at the lab. Using TWINSPAN, vegetation of the study area was classified and then PCA and CCA were used to investigate the relationship between species and environmental factors. According to TWINSPAN results, four ecological groups were identified. The first ecological group is located in the opposite direction of elevation, slope, rainfall and patch area gradients, and the same direction with pH, clay and dispersible clay (the first depth), bulk density, edge density and patch area (coefficient of variation). The second and third ecological groups are located in the interfaces of the first and fourth ecological groups in terms of plant composition and environmental conditions. These two groups prefer the middle elevations. The fourth ecological group at the end of the elevation, rainfall, slope, patch area and inverse direction of clay and dispersible clay (the first depth) and typically prefer high altitudes and light texture soils.