The effect of snow cover area and duration changes on vegetation cover in Chaharmal and Bakhtiari Province

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Dep. of Natural Resources Isfahan University of Technology

2 Associate professor, Department of Natural Resources, Isfahan University of Technology

3 Dep. of Natural Resources, Isfahan University of Technology

4 Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Agricultural and Natural resources Research and Education Center, AREEO, Shahrekord, Iran


Snow is one of the effective fators on vegetation rate and function in mountainous areas. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of snow cover area index and snow cover duration index on two declining and dominant plant species including Astragalus adscendens and Quercus brantii in Chaharmal and Bakhtiari Province from 2003 to 2016. For this purpose, Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) were extracted from MODIS satellite images and compared using Pearson analysis in forest decline regions (Barz, Seveh, Helen and control area) and in rangeland decline regions including Astragalus adscendens decline and control areas. Results showed that about 32% of the snow cover in the study area has been reduced, although a constant trend was not observed. The studied snow indices showed the highest relationships with rangeland and forest vegetation cover in March. The decline region of Astragalus adscendens had the maximum relationship with the snow cover area (R>0.70) and snow cover duration (R>0.71) in March. According to the findings, snow precipitation in late winter season and its duration is more effective on the rangeland Astragalus adscendens species than forest vegetation cover and this pecies can be more sensitive to decline in case of snow reduction.


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Volume 74, Issue 4
March 2022
Pages 917-938
  • Receive Date: 13 January 2021
  • Revise Date: 01 January 2022
  • Accept Date: 02 January 2022
  • First Publish Date: 20 February 2022