Biologic Management Framework of Soil Erosion in the Watershed (Applied study: Oshnavieh Galazchai, West Azerbaijan, Iran)

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Watershed Management Engineering, Faculty of Natural Resources, Tarbiat Modares University, Noor 46417-76489, Mazandaran Province, Iran


Today, biological methods are considered as one of the effective approaches to control soil erosion at early stages. Biologic management is a scientific and applied approach to manage and control runoff and soil loss. However, there is no practical and specific algorithm for preparing and implementing biological programs for managing or controlling soil erosion in the watershed scale. Therefore, the present study was conducted as a pioneer study to develop a practical framework for the biologic management of soil erosion. In this regard, the erosion status in the watershed was initially considered to identify areas prone to bio-management. Then Ombrothermic and Hythergraph diagrams were prepared and combined with topographic, temperature, precipitation, and evapotranspiration data layers for zoning and obtaining an agroclimatic map. Finally, providing a list of endemic and dominant species of the study area obtained from phytosociological studies and soil characteristics, biologic management of soil erosion for each agroclimatic category was suggested as a final step for the proposed framework. The applicability of the proposed algorithm was evaluated for the Oshnavieh Galazchai Watershed in West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. The results showed that 24 and 76% of the watershed are classified in low and moderate situations in soil erosion, respectively. Based on the agroclimatic map, the suitable species for biological management of soil erosion were identified, and their associated characteristics were extracted. Finally, among the rangeland species in the studied area, Achillea millefolium, Agropyron desertorum, Agropyron tauri, Galium verum, Melica persica kunth, and Stachys inflata benth were suggested for biologic management of soil erosion in almost 64% of Galazchai Watershed. Therefore, the results of the present study could be extended at the country level for the appropriate biologic management of soil erosion.


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