Road effects on vegetation composition and soil properties in Gol-E-Gohar region (Kerman province, Iran)
Construction of the road in the saline area can alter plant communities and diversity. To determine the road effect on plant community composition and diversity in the saline environment around Gol-E-Gohar region (Kerman province, Iran), we conducted a study along roads of Sirjan- Gol-E-Gohar Iron ore and in nearby non-road (i.e. natural) areas in the rangelands of Kaviz Kouh, Sirjan. In addition to plant richness, diversity and composition of plant communities along this roads, we evaluated physiochemical changes in soil of roadside and non-road areas. Floristic data and soil samples were collected along the roadside of Sirajn – Gol-E-Gohar and nearby Kaviz
Kouh . To evaluate plant communities at each site, 30 1 m × 1 m quadrats were placed at 10-m intervals along roads and 30 quadrats were arranged randomly in non-road areas. To determine the difference in plant community composition between roadside and non-road areas, we measured species richness and diversity in each site by Shanon index. Plant community (species richness, diversity) and soil physicochemical properties (pH, salinity, ESP, SAR, Lime, Gypsum and Texture) were compared between roadside and non-road areas by using t-tests. Results showed species richness and diversity in roadside areas was significantly higher than in non-road areas and higher Shannon index indicated that roadside can support more species composition. The plant communities in roadside areas had lower percentages of Chenopodiaceae family and had the higher percentage of Asteraceae, Poaceae and Brassicaceae family in plant composition. Compared to non-road areas, activities associated with roads significantly decreased, bulk density and salinity and increased soil pH and sand. According to results road Construction in the saline area of Gol-E-Gohar can improve portion non Halophyte species in plant composition and alter soil properties just along the roadside.