Landscape Function Analysis along Precipitation Gradient in the Rangeland of Southern Al-Jabal Al -Akhdar, Libya

Document Type : Research Paper

Author

Department of Forestry and Rangeland, Faculty of Natural resources and Environmental Sciences, Omar Al-Muktar University

Abstract

The southern slope of Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar in northeastern Libya is a model for the desertification process, as it witnesses a sharp deterioration due to the prevailing climatic conditions and irrational human activities.  We conducted the present research in the rangeland of southern Al-Jabal Al –Akhdar to investigate the effects of annual precipitation gradient on landscape function and soil surface condition. The study area was divided into three levels of annual precipitation (high, medium, and low precipitation). We randomly selected 10 sites for each precipitation level. Three line transects were taken for each site. Landscape Function Analysis methodology (LFA) was applied to assess soil surface condition. The Least Significant Difference (LSD) test was also used. The results showed the significant effect of annual precipitation on all the soil surface condition indices.  The highest SSI was at the high level with a mean of 49.8% and the lowest was at the medium level with an average of 44.6%, with a highly significant difference (P=0.000). The WII was low in all the precipitation levels, and highly significant differences were found; the same results could apply to NCI. LOIs of the three levels were reasonably close (0.063, 0.042, and 0.058) without any significant differences. A decrease was observed in PN with the direction to the south. The results revealed that landscape functioning in the study area was significantly different from the impact of rainfall.  It is necessary to develop different plans for each area according to its climatic conditions in order to combat erosion and conserve soil, as an essential natural resource.
 
 

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