The determination of indicator plant species for steppe rangelands of Nevşehir Province in Turkey


Abstract: Monitoring and interpretation of the changes to the vegetation of rangelands are key functions for ecological models and sustainable management. Field work was well organized to generally represent the rangelands in the province of Nevşehir, in Central Anatolia, Turkey, in the year 2008. A modified wheel-point method with a loop was used to detect the basal cover of species of vegetation. There were 185 species in 31 sample sites throughout Nevşehir Province. Ordination analysis was performed with the Integrated System for Plant Dynamics software package, which includes detrended correspondence analysis and sample-centered principal components analysis. A gradient analysis showed that 30 sample sites represented a relatively homogeneous area, and there were 50 plant species found as promising indicators. Only 8 plant indicator species (Poa pratensis, P. alpina, Chrysopogon gryllus, Festuca valesiaca, Bromus cappadocicus, Stipa holosericea, Cynodon dactylon, and Trachynia distachya) and bare ground demonstrated clear responses along the pastoral impact gradient. For this reason, changes in the abundance of these indicators occurred on 3 management units of this ordination gradient. It is recommended that these species be used to monitor and assess trends in vegetation change and range conditions in Central Anatolia.

Keywords: Basal cover, indicator species, Integrated System for Plant Dynamics, relatively homogeneous area, rangelands

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