Evaluating structure and function of desert landscapes using Landscape Function Analysis and remote sensing indices

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Graduate of Desertification, Department of Natural Resources, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resources, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran



This study aimed to evaluate and compare the structure and function status of some areas with different desertification classes around Gavkhoni International Wetland using Landscape Function Analysis (LFA), and Cover Directional Leakiness Index (CDLI) extracted from Landsat 8 OLI sensor and NDVI, SAVI-A, PD54, and STVI-1 vegetation indices. In this research, six different areas were selected, and two or three transects with a length of 50 meters were established in each area. The length and width of the patches and inter-patches were continuously measured. Then 11 soil surface indicators were assessed in all ecological patches, and inter-patch areas with three replications. The results showed that although range places did not differ significantly in terms of soil stability and nutrient cycling indices, the infiltration index in the areas covered by Haloxylon ammodendron, Seidlitzia rosmarinus and Halocnemum strobilaceum varied significantly compared with the other areas (p < 0.05). According to the results, there were no significant differences between the structure and function indices in the areas with various desertification classes (p > 0.05). The PD54 index showed the best performance among vegetation indices due to its better differentiation of resource leakage between different areas, and it had a high relationship with CDLI (R2 = 71.9 %). There was a negative correlation between CDLI and vegetation cover percentage (p < 0.05). The present study indicated that integrating the results of LFA method with CDLI can be used to evaluate the structure and function status of desert ecosystems appropriately.


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