Study of the effect of soil properties on the distribution of medicinal plant Citrullus colocynthis in arid and desert ecosystems using principal component analysis (PCA) (Case Study: Sistan Plain)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assoc. Prof. Department of Soil Conservation and Water Management, Sistan Agriculture, Education and Extension Natural Resources Research Center, AREEO, Zabol, Iran

2 P. h.D candidate in Watershed Management, Watershed Management Department, Faculty of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Gorgan.


The aim of this study was to determine properties of soil Citrullus colocynthis habitat. First implement the distribution status of this plant in Nimroz city and by establishing two transects, each with a length of 250 meters and at a distance of 50 meters, a plot of 3× 3 meters was determined according to the type of cover. Also the characteristics of cover percentage, bare soil and litter were determined. forty soil samples were taken from habitats of this plant and control areas from a depth of 0-50 cm and analyzed some soil properties. T-test and principal component analysis (PCA) method were used to compare the soil properties and to determine the factors affecting the establishment of plant species. Results showed that there is a significant difference between the mean of acidity, carbon, total calcium and magnesium, sodium, sodium adsorption ratio, soluble sodium, total cations, absorbed phosphorus and potassium, clay, silt and sand in the two studied areas. But between other data, it is not statistically significant. The multivariate analysis indicate that the plant tends to settle in soils with higher organic matter, phosphorus, potassium and clay and the variables of sodium content, sodium uptake ratio, total cations and sand percentage are the most important obstacles to the establishment of this plant in study area. Conclusion the soil characteristics of this plant, its ecological needs are low in the harsh ecological conditions of the region and can be adapted to poor soils.


Main Subjects

Volume 37, Issue 1
March 2024
Pages 107-118
  • Receive Date: 23 October 2021
  • Revise Date: 27 January 2022
  • Accept Date: 30 March 2022