A GIS Based Grassland Grazing Model: A Case Study of Savadkooh Watershed, Mazandaran
Range suitability is determined to identify the lands having grazing potential under different scenarios of management. Range suitability shows whether livestock grazing is logical practice in comparison to other land uses. FAO (1991) methodwas used to study the grassland suitability for sheep grazing. Three sub-models were created namely distance to water resources, soil erosion, and forage production. Data were collected from Savadkooh watershed, Mazandaran province, Iran. Results show that 9.78% of the study grassland is classified as S1, 27.44% in class S2, 38.04% in class S3 and 24.74% not suitable (N) for sheep grazing. Presence of low palatable species, forage production deficit, poor condition and negative trend and finally steep slope were recognized as the main factors for range suitability decline. In the meantime quality and quantity of water could be reasons to increasing the class of suitability. The results of the study would be beneficial to land managers in devising measures more to cope with the limitations and enhance the health and proctivity of the lands.
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