Relationships of Habitat Quality to Characteristics of Soil, Topography, and Landscape Features Across Qeshlagh Dam Watershed in Western Iran

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Kurdistan, P.O. Box 416 Sanandaj, Iran

2 Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Marine and Environmental Sciences, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran


This research investigates the relationships between habitat quality, soil characteristics, topography and landscape metrics across soil zones and sub-basins of the Qeshlagh dam in western Iran. InVEST software was applied to determine habitat quality while soil characteristics were interpolated through the Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW) method using ArcGIS software. The results revealed that the higher habitat quality throughout the Qeshlagh basin is distributed on upland including northern and eastern parts and also western strips of the basin. Dense urban land use and agricultural development were amongst the factors for declining habitat quality in central and southern parts of the study area. Statistical analysis showed that there are significant relationships of habitat quality to characteristics of soil, topography and landscape features throughout soil zones and sub-basins while the scale of sampling may impact the results. Also, it was emphasized that the habitat quality is influenced by the landscape pattern. In this regard cohesiveness of the largest landscape spot was highly influential. It is suggested that land management pathways regarding the rate and magnification of the degradation of the habitat quality should be considered and urgent conservative measures need to be applied to improve habitat quality across the basin.


Main Subjects

Ahmadi Mirghaed, F. & Souri, B., 2022. Spatial analysis of soil quality through landscape patterns in the Shoor River Basin, Southwestern Iran. Catena, 211, 106028.
Ahmadi Mirghaed, F. & Souri, B., 2021. Relationships between habitat quality and ecological properties across Ziarat Basin in northern Iran. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 1-16.
Aneseyee, A.B., Noszczyk, T., Soromessa, T. & Elias, E., 2020. The InVEST Habitat Quality Model Associated with Land Use/Cover Changes: A Qualitative Case Study of the Winike Watershed in the Omo-Gibe Basin, Southwest Ethiopia. Remote Sensing, 12, 1103.
Bagstad, K.J., Villa, F., Johnson, G.W. & Voigt, B., 2011. Artificial intel­ligence for ecosystem services. A guide to models and data, version 1.0. ARIES report series n.1, Geneva, Switzerland, 129-142.
Baral, H., Keenan, R.J., Sharma, S.K., Stork, N.E. & Kasel, S., 2014. Spatial assessment and mapping of biodiversity and conservation priorities in a heavily modified and fragmented production landscape in north-central Victoria, Australia. Ecological Indicators, 36, 552-562.
Borges, F., Glemnitz, M., Schultz, A. & Stachow, U., 2017. Assessing the habitat suitability of agricultural landscapes for characteristic breeding bird guilds using landscape metrics. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 189(4): 166.
Chen, Y., Qiao, F. & Jiang, L., 2016. Effects of land use pattern change on regional scale habitat quality based on InVEST model: a case study in Beijing. Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis Pekinensis, 52, 1-10.
Chenyu, L., Jianhua, Z. & Xueyuan, G., 2021. Spatial and temporal variation of habitat quality in forestry ecological engineering area of Yangtze River Economic Belt [J]. Chinese Journal of Ecology, 40(12): 3788-3799.
Day, P.R., 1965. Particle fractions and particle-size analysis. In Methods of soil analysis: Part 1, ed. C.A. Black. Madison, United States: American Society of Agronomy.
Doi, R., Wachrinrat, C., Teejuntuk, S., Sakurai, K. & Sahunalu, P., 2010. Semiquantitative color profiling of soils over a land degradation gradient in Sakaerat, Thailand. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 170(1-4): 301-309.
Joseph, H., 2010. The case for an ecosystem service approach to decision-making: An overview. Biosci. Horizons, 3, 188-196.
Li, M., Liang, D., Xia, J., Song, J., Cheng, D. & Wu, J., 2021. Evaluation of water conservation function of Danjiang River Basin in Qinling Mountains, China based on InVEST model. Journal of Environmental Management. 286: 112212.
McGarigal, K., Cushman, S.A. & Ene, E., 2012. FRAGSTATS v4: Spatial pattern analysis program for categorical and continuous maps. Computer software program produced by the authors at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Olsen, S.R., 1954. Estimation of available phosphorus in soils by extraction with sodium bicarbonate (No. 939). US Department of Agriculture.
Petit, S., Firbank, L., Wyatt's, B. & Howard, D.C., 2001. MIRABEL: models for integrated review and assessment of biodiversity in European landscapes. AMBIO: A J. of the Human Environment, 30(2): 81-88.
Raiesi, F., 2017. A minimum data set and soil quality index to quantify the effect of land use conversion on soil quality and degradation in native rangelands of upland arid and semiarid regions. Ecological Indicators, 75, 307-320
Sadeghi, S.H., Dashtpagerdi, M.M., Rekabdarkoolai, H.M. & Schoorl, J. M., 2021. Sensitivity analysis of relationships between hydrograph components and landscapes metrics extracted from digital elevation models with different spatial resolutions. Ecological Indicators, 121, 107025.‏
Salinity Laboratory Staff, 1954. Diagnosis and improvement of saline and alkali soils, 60. United States: Department of Agriculture Handbook.
Sharp, R., Tallis, H.T., Ricketts, T., Guerry, A.D., Wood, S.A., Chaplin-Kramer, R., ... & Douglass, J., 2016. InVEST+ VERSION+ User’s guide. The natural capital projects.
Soil Survey Staff, 1999. Soil Taxonomy, 2nd edn. Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture Handbook No 436.
Sun, X., Jiang, Z., Liu, F. & Zhang, D., 2019. Monitoring spatio-temporal dynamics of habitat quality in Nansihu Lake basin, eastern China, from 1980 to 2015. Ecological Indicators, 102, 716-723.
Tian, K., Zhang, B., Zhang, H., Huang, B., Darilek, J., Zhao, Y. & Yang, J., 2020. Evaluation of soil quality in major grain-producing region of the North China Plain: Integrating minimum data set and established critical limits. Ecological Indicators, 117, 106613.
Uuemaa, E., Roosaare, J., Oja, T. & Mander, U., 2011. Analysing the spatial structure of the Estonian landscapes: which landscape metrics are the most suitable for comparing different landscapes? Estonian Journal of Ecology, 60, 70-80.
Van Reeuwijk, L.P., 1993. Procedures for soil analysis. International Soil Reference and Information Centre.
Walkley, A. & Black, I.A., 1934. An examination of the Degtjareff method for determining soil organic matter, and a proposed modification of the chromic acid titration method. Soil Science, 37(1): 29-38.
Wanghe, K., Guo, X., Ahmad, S., Tian, F., Nabi, G. & Strelnikov, I.I., 2022. FRESF model: An ArcGIS toolbox for rapid assess­ment of the supply, demand, and flow of flood regulation eco­system services. Ecological Indicators, 143: 109264.
Willy, D.K., Muyanga, M., Mbuvi, J. & Jayne, T., 2019. The effect of land use change on soil fertility parameters in densely populated areas of Kenya. Geoderma, 343, 254-262.
Wu, C., Liu, G., Huang, C. & Liu, Q., 2019. Soil quality assessment in Yellow River Delta: Establishing a minimum data set and fuzzy logic model. Geoderma, 334(15): 82-89.
Xiaodong, Z. & Xuelu, L., 2022. Effects of land use on habitat quality based on INVEST model: A Case Study of the Zuli River Basin, china. Research Square, 1-23.
Xiao-Mei, H., Jin, Y., Chao, L., Xiao-Jun, F. & Yuan, Z., 2023. Impact of watershed habitat quality based on land use: a case study of taking Ciyao River Basin. Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops and Foods, 15(1): 18-31.
Xu, L., Chen, S.S., Xu, Y., Li, G. & Su, W., 2019. Impacts of land - use change on habitat quality during 1985- 2015 in the taihu lake basin. Sustainability, 11 (3513).
Yan, S., Wang, X., Cai, Y., Li, C. & Yan, R., 2018. An integrated investigation of spatiotemporal habitat quality dynamics and driving forces in the upper basin of miyun reservoir, north China. Sustainability, 10 (4625): 1–17.
Yuyang, C., Yang, G., Zhen, X., Tianzhu, Z. & Xize, Y., 2021. Evolution and correlation of habitat quality and landscape pattern in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region [J]. China Environmental Science, 41(02): 848-859.