A Quantitative Assessment of Plant Agrobiodiversity Threats - a Case Study of Gachsaran

Document Type : Original Articles


1 M.Sc. of Agroecology Shahid Beheshti University, G.C., Tehran

2 Department of Agroecology, Environmental Sciences Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, G.C., Tehran


A study was conducted using a modified model to assess the level of threat and effective factors in villages with two ecologies, in Basht County, Gachsaran in Southwest Iran, including a protected area with a dominant mountainous topology and another with a plain-hilly situation. The results showed that level of threat increased with the decreasing distance of villages from the urban region and mountain villages had a lower level of risk than plain-hilly areas. Trends of agrochemical application, weed management techniques and acreage of fields receiving agrochemicals had the highest frequency of flooding and incidental fires and the acreage of agricultural land in the area made the least contribution to the threat of agrobiodiversity erosion. The results of cluster analysis divided villages into two clusters in which all mountainous villages, along with two plain-hilly villages were placed in one cluster and the others were located in the second cluster. Estimating the role of divergence factors in the clusters revealed that five factors including the distance to the main urban centers, distance to industrial developmental projects, ratio of irrigated to rain-fed lands, extent of use of modern varieties and exploitation rate of habitat species had the highest effects on divergence of the biodiversity threat in the model. Results showed that human activities are the main factors in genetic erosion threats, whereas natural factors as well as traditional agricultural and social practices and the availability of agricultural territories in the area resulted in the least risk to biodiversity.