Evaluation of agrobiodiversity in Ilam Province (during 2004-2016)

Document Type : Original Articles


1 Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran

2 Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, Ilam University, Ilam, Iran


Diversification of agriculture is considered an important strategy to overcome the challenges faced by many developing countries due to the opportunities it offers to face heterogeneous production conditions, increase income generation through entry into new markets, and risk management. Conservation of biodiversity is one of the sustainable development concepts in agriculture. Excessive attention to the number of products and the extreme use of off-farm inputs, regardless of other ecological functions of these systems, has led to the reduction of biodiversity at all levels. In this context, a comprehensive plan for monitoring crop diversity and identification of factors influencing diversification is necessary. Accordingly, this study was conducted to evaluate the temporal and spatial changes in the biodiversity of agricultural systems in the Ilam province during 2004 and 2016.
Material and methods:
Data were gathered from statistical yearbooks and reports from the Plan and Budget Organization and Organization of Jihad Agriculture. Stepwise regression analysis was used to identify the factors influencing regional crop diversity fluctuation over time (Also, stepwise recursive regression analysis was used to evaluate the determinant factors in the changes of diversity in agricultural systems.). In order to evaluate the spatial variation of crop diversity in irrigated agroecosystems and its determinants factors, the Shannon-Weiner diversity index was calculated. Based on the assumptions of the study, the influencing factors on the spatial variation of crop diversity were classified into geographical factors, climate and ecological factors, sociocultural factors, economic factors, and management factors. Then, insignificant factors on crop diversity were excluded from the model and finally, the most important determinant on variations between different regions of the province remained in the model.
Results and discussion:
The findings of this study revealed that over the 12-years period, the general trend in the changes of production systems was a decreasing one; so the agricultural systems’ diversity in all counties, except for Ilam and Dehloran, had decreased, of which the highest value of the Shannon-Weiner diversity index was calculated 1.90 in 2016. The main reason for this increase in diversity was the increase in the number of vegetable crops and reducing the area under cultivation of dominant crops (wheat and barley) during the studied period. Furthermore, the main determinant factors of diversity in the agricultural systems of Ilam Province were the number of villages with inhabitants, average annual net income of a rural household, number of cooperatives, number of dusty days, agricultural land areas, number of production units, age of the beneficiary, minority percentage, amount of urea fertilizer, number of family members, and literacy rate, respectively.
Studying the critical points in the agricultural systems of Ilam Province indicated that the top-priority actions to improve sustainability and increase the diversity of these systems are educating farmers, helping them reach economic stability and improving production management and water resources management.


  1. Ali, M. and Abdullah Farooq, U., 2004. Diversification with vegetables to improve competitiveness in Asia. In: Ali, M. (Eds.), Agricultural Diversification and International Competitiveness, pp. 51–82. Asian Productivity Organization, Tokyo.
  2. Amiri, Z., Asgharipour, M.R., Campbell, D.E. and Armin, M., 2019. A sustainability analysis of two rapeseed farming ecosystems in Khorramabad, Iran, based on emergy and economic analyses. J Clean Prod, 226: 1051-1066.
  3. Asgharipour, M.R., Shahgholi, H., Campbell, D.E., Khamari, I. and Ghadiri, A., 2019. Comparison of the sustainability of bean production systems based on emergy and economic analyses. Environ Monit Assess, 191(1), p.2.
  4. Bellon, M.R., 1996. The dynamics of crop infraspecific diversity: a conceptual framework at the farmer level. Econ Bot 50: 26-39.
  5. Bhattacharyya, R., 2008. Crop diversification: a search for an alternative income of the farmers in the state of West Bengal in India. Paper presented at the International Conference on Applied Economics, ICOAE, Warsaw, Poland, 5-7 July.
  6. Brush, S.B., 2004. Farmers’ bounty: locating crop diversity in the contemporary world. Yale University Press, New Haven.
  7. Cooper, H.D., Spillane, C. and Hodgkin, T., 2001. Broadening the genetic base of crop production. CABI Publishing, London.
  8. Dufour-Dror, J.M. and Ertas, A., 2004. Bioclimatic perspectives in the distribution of Quercus ithaburensis Decne. Subspecies in Turkey and in the Levant. J Biogr 31: 461–474.
  9. Emberger, L., 1966. Une classification biogeographique des climats. Recherches et Travaux des Laboratoires de Geologie, Botanique et Zoologie. Faculte des Sciences Montpellier 7: 1–43.
  10. FAO, 1998. The state of the world’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, p. 510. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.
  11. Gaston, K.J. and Spicer, J.I., 2004. Biodiversity: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Blackwell Publishing.
  12. Gliessman, S.R., Engles, E. and Krieger, R., 1998. Agroecology: Ecological Processes in Sustainable Agriculture. CRC Press, USA.
  13. Gorgini Shabankare, H., Asgharipour, M.R. and Fakheri, B., 2015. Morpho-chemical diversity among populations in Iranian Teucrium polium (Lamiaceae) in Fars province. J. Agr Sci Tech. 17: 705-716.
  14. Harlan, J.R., 1927. Genetics of disaster. J Environ Qual 1: 212-215.
  15. Harlan, J.R., 1977. The origins of cereal agriculture in the Old World. In: Reed, C.A. (Ed.) Origins of Agriculture, 357- 384. Mouton Publishers. The Hague. Paris.
  16. Iran Statistical Yearbook 1394 (Iranian Year) [2015- 2016], 2017. Publisher: Statistical Centre of Iran.
  17. Jafari, M., Asgharipour, M.R., Ramroudi, M., Galavi, M. and Hadarbadi, G., 2018. Sustainability assessment of date and pistachio agricultural systems using energy, emergy and economic approaches. J clean prod, 193: 642-651.
  18. Khoshbakht, K. and Hammer, K., 2008. How many plant species are cultivated? Gent Res Crop Eval 55 (7): 925-928. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10722-008-9368-0
  19. Koocheki, A.R., Nassiri Mahallati, M., Zarea Fizabadi, A. and Jahanbin, M., 2004. Diversity of cropping systems in Iran. Pajouhesh and Sazandegi 63: 70-83. (In Persian)
  20. Koocheki, A.R., Nassiri, M., Gliessman, S.R. and Zarea, A., 2008. Agrobiodiversity of Field Crops: A Case Study for Iran. J Sustain Agric 32 (1): 95-122.
  21. Love, B. and Spaner, D., 2007. Agrobiodiversity: its value, measurement, and conservation in the context of sustainable agriculture. J Sustain Agric 31 (2): 53-82.
  22. Mahdavi Damghani, A., Koocheki, A.R., Rezvani Moghaddam, P. and Nassiri Mahallati, M., 2007. Evaluation of agrobiodiversity and its effects on the sustainability of a wheat-cotton cropping system in Khorassan. Environ Sci 4 (3): 61-68.
  23. Ministry of Agriculture of the I.R. of Iran (MAJ), 2016. Portal of Iranian agriculture, http://www.maj.ir/english/Main/Default.asp.
  24. Pardey, P.G., Skovmand, B., Taba, S., van Dusen, M.E. and Wright, B.D., 1998. The cost of conserving maize and wheat genetic resources ex-situ. In: Smale, M. (Ed.) Farmers, gene banks and crop breeding: economic analyses of diversity in wheat, maize, and rice, 35-55. Kluwer Academic Press, USA.
  25. Pourghasemian, N. and Moradi, R., 2016. Assesing biodiversity of agronomic and horticultural productions of Isfahan Province. J Agroecol 8 (2): 212-226. (In Persian)
  26. Rahman, S. and Kazal, M.M.H., 2015. Determinants of crop diversity in the regions of Bangladesh (1990–2008). Singapore J Trop Geo 36: 83–97.
  27. Reddy, A.A., 2011. Sources of Agricultural Growth in Andhra Pradesh, India: Scope for Small Farmer Participation. T Indian Econ J 59 (3): 87-108.
  28. Rezvani Moghaddam, P., 2008. New plants and forgotten plants. In: Koocheki, A. R., Khajeh Hosseini, M. (Ed.) Modern Agronomy, 446-472. JDM Press, Mashhad, Iran. (In Persian)
  29. Salehi Arjmand, S., Hoseini, J.F., Razaghi, M.H., 2009. Effects of wheat self-sufficiency project on the rangelands of Markazi province from the viewpoint of natural resources. Forest Rangeland 88: 41-47. (In Persian)
  30. Willis, K.J. and Bachman, S., 2016. State of the World’s Plants. Annual Report and Accounts. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Printed in the UK by the Williams Lea Group on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.
  31. Winters, P., Cavatassi, R. and Lipper, L., 2006. Sowing the seeds of social relations: the role of social capital in crop diversity. ESA Working Paper No. 6-16, 1-40. FAO, Rome.
  32. Wood, D. and Lenne, J.M., 1999. Agrobiodiversity: characterization, utilization, and management. CABI Publishing, New York.
  33. Yousefi, S., Saeidi, H. and Assadi, M., 2018. Genetic diversity analysis of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) in Iran using sequence related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers. J. Agr. Sci. Tech. 20: 373-386.