Plant selection for semi-arid urban landscapes with an emphasis on climate change (case study: Tehran)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Agroecology, Environmental Science Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University. Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Agroecology, Environmental Science Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


Urban landscape, especially urban forest and city trees, usually has vital and various effects on the mental and physical health of humans, environmental embellishment, and mitigating the destructive effect of climatic changes like wind storms and flood control, as well as reduction and control of hazardous contaminants. Choosing appropriate plants for urban landscapes is vital to avoid potential financial and environmental losses that may occur if all selection parameters are not taken into account. The determination of plant species assessment indices in urban green space in Tehran does not have any special standard. Therefore, the aim of this study was to make a sustainable green space for Tehran metropolis due to its arid and semi-arid climate, which poses more challenges to choose suitable plant species for green spaces.
Material and methods:
In our study, the methodology structured a hierarchy consisting of a goal and sub-ordinate attributes of the problem. Other important components of this methodology were a pairwise comparison between various parameters used to quantify value judgments, and the matrix multiplication used to convert level specifi c criteria into a larger decision priority. After grouping plants, selection parameters have been defined for each plant group. Plant species were comparatively graded for each parameter by a group of eight specialists. Analytical hierarchy process (AHP) technique and hierarchical cluster analysis have been utilized to find the most adaptable plant species for the area according to the main selection parameters of zone tolerance, urban conditions, esthetics, maintenance, growth characteristics, and specific features. A table was designed in questionnaire format and distributed between 8 respective experts for coefficient value determination and then the coefficient value was obtained by Expert choice software. The dominant plant list of Tehran and the world was prepared, and plants that exist at Tehran botanical garden and had acceptable results were chosen. Scoring the plant species was performed from 0 to 3 with the values of 0.5, 1.5, and 2.5 being used for the intermediate state. After multiply each factor weight and each species score, the final plant weight was obtained and the proper and relative proper plants weredetected. Because of the importance of climate change, the indices influenced by climate change were determinedby future weather prediction using Larse-wg-5.1 software under the Hadcim3 model that have three scenariosbetween 2011-2030 and 2045-2065. Weight of these indices was multiplied at species scores and then the properand relative proper plants were prioritized and introduced for planting.
Results and discussion:
Pointed tree species like Ceratonia silique, Gleditsia spp., Ziziphus jujube, Tamarixparviflora, Sophora japonica, Pistacia chinensis, Guercus coccinea, Quercus douglasi, Seltis sp., and Guercusagrifolia were determined as suitable choices for green space planting. Pointed shrub species like Cercis chinensis,Berberis thunbergii, Eleagnus pungens, Ribes sp., Spartium junceum, Punica granatum var.pleniflora, Rhusglabra, and Pyracantha coccinea were suitable as well.
In general, the results showed that many dominant green space plants were not proper species andthere are more suitable plants that have received less attention. Before introducing new plants to the urban environment,they should be experimented on in a small scale for several years to confirm that they will not change theecology of the whole region through invasion or posing a threat to any local plant species.


  1. Abdollahi, M., 2003. The study of southern Alborz afforests plant and its environmental effect on Tehran city. MSc. Thesis. Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran. (In Persian with English abstract).
  2. Alijani, B., 2009. Tehran climate. In Article collection 1st Tehran environmental Challenges Congress. 21st-22nd, Tehran, Iran. p. 100. (In Persian).
  3. Babaeiyan, A. and Najafinik, Z., 2006. The introduce and evaluation of model LARSE-WG for modeling Khorasan province meteorology parameterse at 1961-2003. Journal of Nivar. 62, 49-69. (In Persian).
  4. Bahmanpoor, H. and Salajegha, B., 2009. Plant species compatible with Tehran city. Journal of Mayoralties. 95, 94-99. (In Persian).
  5. Company R. 2001. Tehran greenbelt research report. Teharns Parks and Greenspace, Tehran.
  6. Corkill, E., 2009. Legendary, dirty samurai makeover. Journal of Erisim Tarihi. 15, 153-160.
  7. Culter, D. and Richardson, I., 1989. Tree root and buildings. Longman Group Publication.
  8. Day, K., 2004. Vegetation management for Seattle parks viewpoint. Department of Parks and Recreation Seattle publication. Available at:
  9. Gill, D., Magin G. and Bertram, E., 2013. A guide to the factors that influence species vulnerability and a summary of adaptation options. International Journal of Fauna and Flora. 20(2), 1-15.
  10. IPCC, 2007. Climate change 2007, the physical science basis. Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University, UK.
  11. Jamieson, P., Porter, J. and Wilson, D., 1991. A test of the computer simulation model Arcwheat1 on wheat crops grown in New Zealand. Journal of Field Crops Research. 27(4), 337-350.
  12. Kasang, D. and Kasper, F., 2007. Change of regional extreme. Ph.D. Thesis. Hamburg University, Germany.
  13. Khaliliaghdam, N., Mosaedi, A., Soltani, A. and Kamkar, B., 2012. The evaluation of model LARSE-WG abilities at prediction of Sanandaj atmosphere. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 4, 85-102. (In Persian with English abstract).
  14. Khosravi, M., Esmaielnajad, M. and Nazaripoor, H., 2006. Climate change and its effect on Middle East source water. In Proceeding 4th International Islam World Geographers Congress, 5th-7th April, Zahedan, Iran. p. 2072. (In Persian with English abstract).
  15. Larry, A. and Libbey, D., 1996. Selection and culture of land scape plant in Utah. Utah State University Extension.
  16. Li, Y., Wang, X. and Hung, C., 2011. Key street tree species selection in urban areas. African Journal of Agricultural Research. 6(15), 3539-3550.
  17. Mohammadi, S., Mehdinejad, D. and Amiraslani, Sh., 2007. Study of climate change on catchment, hydrology and meteorology parameters. In Proceeding 1st Iran Source Water Various Aspect Congress. 1st-4th June, Kermanshah, Iran. P. 172 (In Persian).
  18. Olesen, J., Tmka, M. and Kersebaum, K., 2011. Impact and adaptation European crop production systems to climate change. European Journal of Agronomy. 34(2), 96-112.
  19. Prudhome, C., Wilby, R., Crooks, S., Kay, A. and Reynard, N., 2010. Scenario neutral approach to climate change impact studies application to flood risk. Journal of Hydrology. 390(3), 198-209.
  20. Roloff, A., Korn, S. and Gillnerr, S., 2009. The climate species matrix to select tree species for urban habitats considering climate change. Journal of Urban Forestry and Urban Greening. 8(4), 295-308.
  21. Sadatashofte, P. and Masahbavani, A., 2010. Studying the effect of climate change on runoff the case study of Gharangoo catchment, east Azerbaijan. In Proceedings 1st Iran Source Water Practical Surveys Congress, Hydrology and Various Aspect of Rain, 5th-7th, Kermanshah, Iran. P. 141. (In Persian).
  22. Saebo, A., Benedkz, T. and Randrup, T., 2003. Selecting of tree for urban forestry in the Nordic countries. Journal of Urban Forestry and Urban Greening. 2(2), 101-114.
  23. Saunders, M., 1999. Earth future climate. Journal of Physical and Engineering Sciences. 357(1763), 3459-3480.
  24. Semenove, M., Brooks, R., Barooow, E. and Ricgardson, C., 1998. Comparison of the LARSE-WG stochastic weather generators for diverse climates. Journal of Climate Research. 10(2), 95-107.
  25. Shaban, M., Khajedine, S. and Karimzade, H., 2006. Selection of species dry resistant as solution for encountering with water shortcoming crises in Isfahan. In Proceedings 1st Optimal Exploitation from Zayanderood and Karoon Source Water Regional Congress, 16th-18th September, Shahrekord, Iran. P. 5 (In Persian).
  26. Wettehall, F., Bardossy, A., Chen, D. and Xu, C., 2009. Statistical downscaling of daily precipitation over Swede GCM output. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Climatology. 96(1), 95-103.
  27. Wilby, R., Charles, S., Zorita, B. and Mearnes, L., 2004. Guideline for use of climate scenarios developed from statistical downscaling methods. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Climatology. 50(1), 100-111.
  28. Yordanov, N. and Karakirova, Y., 2007. Sugar UV spectrophotometric system for high energy dosimetry. Journal of Radiation Measurement. 42(1), 121-122.