Turkish Journal of Botany




This study aimed to investigate the main autecological characteristics of Desmostachya bipinnata L. (Poaceae) in a hyper-arid region. The study was carried out on Sistan plain, south-eastern Iran. The habitats of D. bipinnata were identified and then the climatic and edaphic characteristics of habitats were determined. Phenological stages, reproduction, root system, and nutritive and preference values of D. bipinnata were also studied. One single habitat of D. bipinnata was identified on Sistan plain. Average annual rainfall and temperature of the habitat were 60 mm and 21.8 °C, respectively. Loamy and loamy sand soils of the habitat had EC and pH values of 10-60 DS/m and 8.03-8.31, respectively. Secondary roots of D. bipinnata penetrated up to 2 m depth in soil. Mean canopy cover was 21.3% in the habitat. Vegetative growth started in the middle of February followed by flowering in May and seed ripening in July. Crude protein content of leaves and stems was 7.56% and 6.71% during vegetative growth, respectively. For both sheep and goats, D. bipinnata had a similar preference value of 25%. This species, with high resistance to unfavourable conditions, can be used for rehabilitation of desertified rangeland in hyper-arid regions.


Autecology, Desmostachya bipinnata, habitat, Iran, rangeland, Sistan

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