Distribution of Plant Species and Their Relation to Soil Properties in Protected and Degraded Stands of Quercus macranthera in Northern Iran

Ali Naghi Sedighi Chafjiri, Kambiz Taheri Abkenar*, Iraj Hassanzad Navroudi, Hassan Pourbabaei
University of Guilan, Natural Resources Faculty, Department of Forestry, Rasht, IRAN
* Corresponding author: Taherikambiz@guilan.ac.ir, Taherikambiz@yahoo.com
Abstract. Quercus macranthera is extended in forest areas of the upper elevations in the north of Iran and plays an effective role in conserving soil and water infiltration. The biggest problem in the region is livestock grazing and forest dwellers. The aim of this study was to study the distribution of plant species and their relation to soil properties in protected and degraded stands of Quercus macranthera. This study included both protected and degraded areas. Within each of the study areas, we used a random systematic 100 m × 100 m sampling grid to locate 20 circular plots (1000 m2 plot for tree and shrub species and 8m2 for herbaceous species) in each area. Also, in each plot, soil samples were collected from 0 to 30 cm depth. The result showed that the distribution pattern of species in both areas was different. Shrub species and invasive herbaceous species were more abundant in the degraded area. Diversity, richness and evenness in the protected area were significantly higher than the degraded area. The soil nutrient factors were significantly more in the protected area. Soil texture was no different between the two areas. It seems that conservation programs such as prevention of livestock need to be carried out in order to protect Quercus macranthera.
Key words: livestock grazing, conservation, soil physical and chemical properties Quercus macranthera stand, Roudbar forest.

Ecologia Balkanica, 2016, vol. 8, Issue 2, pp. 53-63
Article № eb.16127, ICID: 1227499, [Full text - PDF]pdf

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