Stand characteristics and distribution of a relict population of Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica C.A. Meyer) in northern Iran

Kiomars Sefidi, Mohammad R. Marvie Mohadjer, Vahid Etemad, Carolyn A. Copenheaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parrotia persica C.A. Meyer (Persian ironwood) is a deciduous tree of the family Hamamelidaceae, native to northern Iran and endemic to the Alborz Mountains. The study objectives were to assess the current status and distribution of Persian ironwood by characterizing four forest stands where the tree was either a dominant or co-dominant species. Species richness within the stands varied from 3 to 16 woody species and from 9 to 27 understory species. Basal area varied between 37m2/ha and 77m2/ha and tree density varied from 320 to 367stems/ha. Parrotia persica represented 63-86% of the relative dominance and 41-100% of the relative density. In non-pure P. persica stands, other important tree species include Fagus orientalis and Carpinus betulus. Parrotia persica regenerates mainly by sprouts and coppicing. Conservation of relict forests, such as the Persian ironwood forests of the Alborz Mountains, is of particular concern because they represent the only natural occurrence of this species in the world. Anthropogenic disturbance, in the form of timber harvesting, livestock grazing, and clearing forest land for agriculture appear to be the largest threats to Parrotia persica's future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-422
Number of pages5
JournalFlora: Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants
Volume206
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Conservation
  • Iran
  • Persian iron wood
  • Relict forest
  • Stand structure

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