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Short-term effect of oil-mulch on vegetation dynamic; Integration of ecological and remote sensing-based approaches
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  • Noredin Rostami,
  • Haji Karimi,
  • Mohsen Tavakoli,
  • Reza Omidipour
Noredin Rostami
Ilam University
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Haji Karimi
Ilam University
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Mohsen Tavakoli
Ilam University
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Reza Omidipour
Ilam University
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Abstract

Wind erosion is one of the desertification results and is among the natural processes that mostly occur under dry conditions and high wind velocity. Using oil-mulches is one of the common methods to stabilize sand dunes. The current study aimed to investigate the short-term effects of oil-mulch on vegetation attributes (i.e., cover and diversity) and rangeland condition score (RCS) using integrated ecological and remote sensing-based approaches in arid regions of Southwestern Iran. A vegetation survey was carried out in 2019 in the oil-mulched and control area, and a remotely sensed vegetation index (MSAVI) was calculated for 2017 and 2019. The results indicate that one year after treatment, compared to the control area, vegetation cover (30 ± 17.11 vs. 17 ± 5.44 %) and litter (4.6 ± 2.18 vs. 0.94 ± 1.55 %) increased significantly in the oil-mulched area, while bare soil (65.20 ± 17.34 vs. 82.31 ± 5.84 %) decreased. Further, diversity indices (Species evenness, Shannon, and Simpson indices) declined by applying oil-mulch (88%, 63%, and 71%, respectively). The rangeland condition score was significantly higher in the oil-mulched area than in the control area (22 ± 1.86 vs. 12 ± 0.88; P < 0.001). Comparing MSAVI between 2017 and 2019 showed that vegetation cover increased 44.8%. Based on the results, it can be suggested that planting native palatable species in an oil-mulched area with the exclusion of livestock grazing is likely to increase the benefits of oil-mulch treatment and will lead to better rangeland condition score.