Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 7, Issue 2,2009
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Utilization of contour furrow and pitting techniques on desert rangelands: Evaluation of runoff, sediment, soil water content and vegetation cover


Mansour Jahantigh 1, Mohammad Pessarakli 2*

Recieved Date: 2009-01-12, Accepted Date: 2009-04-05


This investigation was conducted to study the effects of pitting and contour furrowing techniques on rangelands evaluation in the Sistan Baluchistan province of Iran. This region consists of 17,0431 km2 of arid to semi-arid rangeland, located in the southeastern section of Iran. It is one of the driest regions of the country, which is home to 11.4% of the population. With the annual rainfall of the region ranging between 50-120 mm, methods of decreasing run-off, controlling soil erosion and water conservation through the utilization of pitting and contour furrowing are critical to restoring the delicate ecological balance of the rangelands in this region. In this study, twelve 20 m × 40 m plots with a slope of 3-5% were designed to compare two treatments, pitting and contour furrowing with control fields. The data indicated that the effects of runoff, water penetration and increased soil moisture in those plots utilizing contour furrowing and pitting were statistically significant. In the control fields, the amount of runoff and sedimentation increased compared to that in the plots utilizing pitting and contour furrowing. Utilization of these constructions in harvesting rain water has been effective in controlling soil erosion. Successfully increasing water penetration and soil moisture content, deterioration of plant cover was reversed and forage production was improved. Furthermore, contour furrowing promoted propagation of Hammada saliconica species, a desirable plant species for both soil conservation and livestock grazing in the region.


Pitting, contour furrow, water conservation, range improvement practices

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2009
Volume: 7
Issue: 2
Category: Environment
Pages: 736-739

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