Effect of topography on tree species composition and volume of coarse woody debris in an oriental beech (Fagus orientalis lipsky) old growth forests, Northern Iran

Kiomars Sefidi, Fariba Esfandiary Darabad, Mojtaba Azaryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is an emerging interest in the relationships between forest structure and topographic aspects. Still, such patterns have been scarcely studied in undisturbed mixed beech forests in northern Iran. We investigated the influence of topographical factors including aspect, slope degree, and landform index (LI) on the distribution of dominant tree species and coarse woody debris (CWD). Tree density and basal area were not significantly correlated with any of the measured parameters, except a moderate relation between basal area and LI (r = 0.376; P = 0.029). Redundancy analysis (RDA) of the tree layer revealed a significant relationship between the measured environmental variables and species distributions. CWD volume showed significant negative correlation with percent canopy coverage and was highly correlated with slope. Density of CWD in decay class IV was significantly correlated with aspect and percent of canopy cover. Analyses of CWD distributions in relation to both living vegetation and topographic gradients showed a highly complex interplay of factors driving the distribution of CWD across the forest stands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-665
Number of pages8
JournalIForest
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Caspian forest
  • Fagus orientalis
  • Landform
  • Physical geography
  • Stand structure

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