Determining the thresholds of sustainable use of rangeland ecosystems by combining remote sensing techniques and meteorological indices (Case Study: the Karaj River Watershed)

Document Type : Research Article


1 Water Engineering Department, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Imam Khomeini International University

2 Water Enginering Department, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Imam Khomeini International University

3 Tehran University

4 Soil Conservation and Watershed Management Research Institute, Agricultural Education and Extension Research Organization


Despite the need to determine the threshold of sustainable use of rangeland ecosystems, especially in drought conditions, no significant progress has been made in recent years, and still time-consuming and costly sampling of species production in a period of 5 to 10 years is used. In this study, to determine and monitor the threshold of sustainable use of rangeland ecosystem, the satellite index and meteorological drought index has been used, while the satellite index was determined by field measurement of canopy cover in a one-year period 2018-2019 in part of the basin of the Karaj river watershed. In this regard, In 3, 6, 9 and 12 month time steps, And the maximum satellite index (NDVI) during the growth period in the target years was determined over a period of 20 years. The results showed that there is a correlation coefficient of about 60% between satellite index and plant density, and in the normal years the satellite index has a correlation coefficient of is about 70% with the index of meteorological drought and 9-month cumulative rainfall leading to the period of maximum growth. Using the permitted harvest coefficients, the operating thresholds for the allowable range of the satellite index were determined and eventually the value of satellite index (NDVI) for the sustainable exploitation of the rangeland was proposed as (0.07459 ± 0.00908) and (0.1799±0.0194) for dry and wet years respectively, is recommended.


Main Subjects

  • Akbarzadeh M. Preparation of vegetation map of Sirachal region by floristic and physiognomic methods. Ministry of Jihad Agriculture, Deputy of Education and Research, Publications of Forests and Rangelands Research Institute. 1994; 1373(92):71. [Persian]
  • Bureau of Land Management California State Office. Rangeland Health Standards and Guidelines [CA, NV]: Environmental Impact Statement. 1998.
  • Arzani H, Dehdari S, King G. Models for estimating range production by cover measurement. Iranian journal of Range and Desert Reseach. 2011; 18(1):1-16. [Persian]
  • Campbell J B. Introduction to Remote Sensing, New York: the Guilford Press; 1987.
  • Damizadeh M, Saghafian B, Gieske A. Studing Vegetation Rensponses and Rainfall Relationship based-on NOAA/AVHRR Images. 22nd Asian Conference on Remote Sensing, 5-9 November, Singapore. 2001.
  • Didan K, Barreto Munoz A, Solano R, Huete A. MODIS Vegetation Index User’s Guide (MOD13 Series). Version 3.00, June 2015 (Collection 6), Vegetation Index and Phenology Lab. University of Arizona. 2015.
  • Fakhimi E, Arzani H, Javadi S A. Estimation of production and long-term grazing capacity using rainfall pattern in the steppe pastures of Abbas Abad Taft. Journal of Plant and Ecology. 2018; 14(54):57-71. [Persian]
  • Fazel Dehkordi L, Azarnivand H, Zareh Chahouki M A, Mahmoodikhan F, Khaliqi Sigaroodi Sh. Drought Monitoring Using NDVI Vegetation Index (Case Study: Rangelands of Ilam Province). Rangeland and Watershed Management, Iranian Journal of Natural Resources. 2016; 69(1):141-154. [Persian]
  • Holechek J L. An Approach for Setting the Stocking Rate. Rangelands journal. 1988; 10(1):10-14.
  • Hosseini (Seyed Reza) S A, Ghasriani F. Investigation on allowable use of sheep fescue (Festuca ovina L.) at Saraliabad Gorgan rangelands. Iranian Journal of Range and Desert Reseach. 2013; 20(2):407-416. [Persian]
  • Hosseini S A, Mesdaghi M. Estimating herbage standing crop and grazing capacity by using regression model. (Case study: Sar-Ali-abad summer rangelands of Golestan province, Iran). 7nd national conference on natural resource management March 19-18, Gonbad Kavous University, Gorgan. 2018. [Persian]
  • Hughes BL, Saunders MA. A drought climathology for Europe. International Journal of Climathology. 2002; 22:1571-1592.
  • Komaki CH B, Asadikia R, Niknahad Gharmakhar H. Estimation of vegetation cover percentage and biomass using remote sensing indices (Case study: protected areas of Southern Alborz, Karaj). RS & GIS for Natural Resources. 2019; 10(1):1-16. [Persian]
  • Martin R, Müller B, Linstädter A, Frank K. How much climate change can pastoral livelihoods tolerate? Modeling rangeland use and evaluating risk. Journal of Global Environmental 2014; 24:183-192.
  • McKee T B, Doesken N J, Kleist J. Drought monitoring with multiple 9th conference on Applied Climatology, TX. USA. 1995; 233-236.
  • McKee T B, Doesken N J, Kleist J. The Relationship of Drought Frequency and Duration to Time Scales. 8th Conference on Applied Climatology, January 17-22, American Meteorological Society, Anaheim, California. 1993; 179-184.
  • Mirdashtvan M, Malekian A. A regional assessment of wet/dry spells characteristics using RCPs scenarios in a semiarid region. Arabian Journal of Geosciences. 2020; 13(781):11.
  • Motamedi J, Arzani H, Jafari M, Farahpour M, Zare Chahouki M A. A model for estimating long-term grazing capacity. Iranian Journal of Range and Desert Research. 2019; 26(1):241-259. [Persian]
  • Motamedi J, Arzani H. A model of estimating short-term and long-term grazing capacity.7th National Conference on Rangeland and Rangeland Management of Iran, Alborz, Karaj. 2018. [Persian]
  • Owsati Kh, Junidi H, Azizi N. Determining the relationship between rangeland production fluctuations and drought In order to predict production using meteorological drought indicators. Rangeland and Watershed Management, Iranian Journal of Natural Resources. 2020; 73(2):239-255. [Persian]
  • Rangzan K, Kabolizadeh M, Karimi D. Evaluation of Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8 Satellite Images Capability and Evaluation of Image Fusion Capability in Seasonal Zoning of NSFWQI and IRWQIsc Qualitative Indices in Surface Water (Case Study: Karoun River). Journal of Geography and Environmental Planning. 2020; 31(1):73-102. [Persian]
  • Shokoohi A. Comparison of RDI and SPI indices for analysis of drought at station scale based on agricultural drought (Case study: Qazvin and Takestan). Irrigation and Water Engineering. 2012; 3(9):111-122. [Persian]
  • Souri M, Bayat M, Arzani H, Khodagholi M. Estimation of long-term forage production of Fars steppe rangelands Based on climatic parameters. Rangeland and Watershed Management, Iranian Journal of Natural Resources. 2019; 72(4):995-1009. [Persian]

Teague R. Barnes M. Grazing management that regenerates ecosystem function and grazingland livelihoods. African Journal of Range & Forage Science. 2017; 34(2):77–86.

Volume 8, Issue 3
October 2021
Pages 717-733
  • Receive Date: 20 January 2021
  • Revise Date: 17 March 2021
  • Accept Date: 31 July 2021
  • First Publish Date: 31 July 2021
  • Publish Date: 23 September 2021