Relationship between Soil Properties and Plant Diversity in Semiarid Grassland

Melda Dölarslan, Ebru Gül, Sabit Erşahin


In ecological studies, soil-plant interaction is an important environmental factor. Soil chemical and physical properties affect plant richness and diversity. This study was carried out to investigate the relationship between soil physical and chemical properties, and plant diversity indexes (Shannon-Weiner and Simpson) in semiarid grassland. Plant diversity indexes and soil properties were determined using 34 quadrats (5x5m) on different parent materials (chrome, marble, serpentine, red chalk and red chalk mostra) in semiarid grasslands in the Central Anatolia Region in Turkey. Plant samples were collected and recorded periodically from April to September (the vegetation period) in 2014 for each quadrat. In order to determine the plant richness and diversity indexes, 3 sub-quadrats (1x1m) were randomly added into each of 34 (5x5 m) quadrats. To evaluate the relationship between plant diversity indexes and soil properties, composite soil samples were collected from the four corners, and the center of each quadrat 0-30 cm in depth, and which was mixing of those subsamples. Soil sand-silt-clay contents, soil reaction (pH), bulk density (BD), electrical conductivity (EC), CaCO3 and soil organic matter (SOM) contents were measured. Relationship between plant diversity indexes measured in different months during vegetation period and soil properties of different parent material was statistically analysed using correlation analysis in SPSS 20.0. Modest correlation coefficient was found between the Simpson diversity index and SOM content, sand-silt-clay content, pH and EC for different months in vegetation period.


Semiarid grassland; Diversity indexes; Parent material; Soil properties

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ISSN: 2148-127X

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