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A diversity survey of mountainous forests trees in North of Iran.


Biodiversity is an essential case for life continuance, economical affairs and ecosystems function and resistance [14]. This study tries to examine the relationship between the richness and evenness of broad leaf trees in north of lran with height from the sea level and to use the results in managing these forests. Generally biodiversity measurement typically focuses on the species level and species diversity is one of the most important scales [1]. Generally the site biodiversity is impressed by environmental factors and the physiographic factor of land as the height from sea level is one of the most important factor in this case [8,10,13]. For this purpose, various researchers have examined biodiversity by separately considering different physiography factors such as ,the height from sea level, slope and direction, they have mentioned that by height increase from sea level the average temperature of the weather decreases and with regard to other climatic factors it leads to the formation of climatic regions there botanical regions with specific species diversity are formed [7]. The specific environmental communities in forests have been led to occurrence of different forest communities[12]. There fore to that more biodiversity would cause more fertility and ecological resistance [15].

Materials and Methods

Tonekabon forests with an area of 15545 hectare are located in 20- kilometers far from the south of Tonekabon (North of Iran) and have a minimum and maximum altitude range of 250-2250 m above sea level. (Fig. 1).

According to Tonekabon meteorology station records, in the last decade the area has had the average rain of 1100 millimeter and an average annual temperature of about 12.7[degrees] C. Besides, the mean differences of the coldest and hottest month of the year are 24.7[degrees] C. which shows a relatively temperate weather. The relative humidity of the region fluctuates between65-95 percent. From pedological point of view the soils are often alkaline and in some places neutral [3,11]. The soil texture in most of the area is heavy clay to semi-heavy sand with average to low permeability. In this study in order to obtain newer data a sample has been chosen and its physico-chemical conditions have been studied. The results of the experiments are shown in table1.


The natural plant incorporation of Siahkal forests include species like Fagus Orientalis, Carpinus betulus, Quercus castaneifolia, Alnus subcordata, Acer velutinum, Acer cappadocicum, Ulmus glabra, Fraxinus excelsior, Cerasus avium, Diospyrus lotus, Parrotia Persica, Pterocarya fraxinifolia, Gletidschia caspica, Taxus baccata, and shrubs like Mespilus germanica, Crataegus, Prunus divericata and Ilex Spicigera. (Sabeti, 1994).

In order to study the diversity of tree species of Tonekabon forests, first on the topography map of the area under investigation those areas which have been under the protection of forestry or were being used were excluded and from the remaining places only those which have not been used or manipulated at all were chose for the study. The chosen places have been classified into 10 altitudes for the minimum (100 m) to maximum (3520 m) altitude range from sea level (Table 2). In each altitude range, 4 sample 70 x 70 m lozenge pieces (Totally 40 pieces) were randomly chosen and carefully surveyed for the study.

Results and Discussion

Biodiversity is much more extensive and widespread to be perfect and completed by a survey of some species. It includes complex methods and processes which interrelates living things to each other or to their ecology. In this regard, their genetic structure can be specified and the process by which a system can remain dynamic, active and self-systematizing be determined [6].On the other hand, species diversity, depending on the level to be studied (whether ecology, species, genetic diversity) has different meaning and uses. And in each of the levels mentioned the form and combination of biodiversity is of greater importance. So in relation to a complex mechanism like ecosystem of forest which possesses a perpetual dynamics, biodiversity should be studied by considering all its various aspects. This study indicated that the diversity of tree species is high in the site under investigation above. However, it is clear that to arrive at a generalization with regard to the changes in tree species or generally speaking woody species with increase in altitude from sea level, similar studies are necessary in different sites and at different conditions. In this zone species richness and plant diversity of woody species is particularly low in oriental beech forests (Fagus orientalis Lipsky) which are due to beech dominance [9]. The results of this study indicates that with increase in altitude from sea level, species richness decrease while species diversity and evenness continue to rise so that the maximum species diversity is observed at the altitude range of 1 to 3 (350-750 m) and the least diversity of species can be observed from 250 m above. Besides, from 1000 meter above sufficient quantity of oriental beech can be observed. (Fig. 2).

This study in terms of tree species breeding abundance has come to the conclusion that lower and higher elevation stands due to heavy overgrazing are experiencing a poor condition while middle elevation stands enjoy a stable good quality situation. The distribution of trees in the diameter classes shows a normal, decreasing feature distribution, which is a prime character of natural forests. Fig. 3 and 4.


This survey clearly proves that traditional human interventions on species diversity and especially on breeding process have a deep negative impact. Therefore to select a site for scientific investigation it is suggested that those sites do not suffer from overgrazing and human activities. This must be especially true when it comes to important subjects such as biodiversity or diversity of woody species. This research showed that qualitative and quantitative parameters of plant species in relation to elevation above sea level changes in time. These changes are the results of inherent characteristics of the forest stand involved and the general conditions of the stands. The cognition of information diversity and understanding the genetic sources of woody species in forest stands of northern Iran and finding their relation to the concept of elevation above sea level is a subject that requires more investigation and scientific though. In this regard, study and cognition of genetic diversity of forest stands of northern Iran is of great importance that must be carefully considered.


Generally the confirmation and resistance of wooden species in different regions differ by the influence of factors such as the soil climatic factors the species kind structure and combination of species and being above the sea level [5]. various ecological factors have an important influence on the formation extension and resistance of wooden species. Meanwhile topography has the most direct and indirect effect on wooden species [17]. The reduction of biodiversity in mountainous heights maybe due to unfavorable thermal conditions and the increase of evenness in these heights[2]. Generally the most richness and variety is noticed in the middle heights and this altitudinal boundary [4]. An this research the most species diversity is noticed in 350 - 750 meters above the sea level and the least species diversity is noticed at the Rang of 1550-1750 m altitude. since the environment temperature is favorable the amount of species richness is more in the lower heights[16].


[1.] Ardakani, M.R., 2004. Ecology. Tehran university, Tehran.

[2.] Fisher, M.A. and P.Z. Fuel, 2004. changes in forest vegetation and abuscular Mycorhzaealong a steep elevation gradient in Arizona. Forest Ecology and Management, 200: 293-11.

[3.] Habibi, H., 1992. Essentials of pedolagy of farestes . Tehran University Tehran.

[4.] Hegazy, A.K. and M.A. El-Demedesh, 1998. Vegetation species diversity and floristic relations along an altitudinal gradient in south West Saudi Arabia. Journal of Arid Environment, 3: 3/13.

[5.] Jalali,Gh. and B. Ersali, 2003. Impacts of above sea -Level elevation And soil changes on Natural Regeneration and other qualitative ad quantitative characteristics of oak tree in Galand Roud Forest in Noushahr, journal pezhohesh and Sanzandegi, 82: 89-97.

[6.] Lust, N. and L. Nachtergale, 1996. Towards the challenge of Biodiversity in forests and forestry. Silva Gandavensis, 61: 20-27.

[7.] Maguran, A.E., 2004. Measuring Biological Diversity. Blackwell, Publishing. Untied Kingdom.

[8.] Maranon, T. and R. Ajbilou, 1999. Biodiversity of woody Species in oak woodland of southern Spain and northern Morocco .forest Ecology and Management, 115: 147-156.

[9.] Pourbabaii, H., 2000. Investigation on wooden species plant diversity in Guilan beech forests, First conference of Caspian forest management and Sustainable development, Ramsar, Iran.

[10.] Rong, L.X., 2001. Study on shrub community diversity of Ordos plateau, Inner Mongolia, northern China. Arid Envir., 47: 271-279.

[11.] Sabeti, H., 1994. Forests, Trees and shrubs in Iran. Yazd University.

[12.] Sagheb-Talebi, K., 2004. Forests of Iran, Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands publishing, Iran.

[13.] Schuster, B. and M. Diekmann, 2005. Species density and environmental factors in deciduous forests of northwest Germany. Forest Ecology and Management, 206:197-205.

[14.] Singh, J.S., 2002. the biodiversity crisis: A multifaceted review. Curr. Sci., 82: 499-500.

[15.] Smith, F., 1996. Biological diversity, Ecosystem stability and economic development. journal of Ecological Economics, 16: 191-203.

[16.] Sternberg, M. and M. Shoshang, 2001. In fluence of slope aspect on Mediterranean woody Formation: Comparison of semiarid and arid site In Israel. Ecological Research, 16: 335-345.

[17.] Zare, A., 2000. Survey of Important ecological factors on vegetative cover of Degh-Minoo Rangelands. journal of jangal and Martah, 48: 64-67.

Mir Mozaffar Fallahchai

Department of Forestry,Lahijan Branch,Islamic AzadUniversity, Lahijan,Iran

Mir Mozaffar Fallahchai; A diversity Survey of mountainous forests trees in north of Iran.

Corresponding Author

Mir Mozaffar Fallahchai, Department of Forestry, Lahijan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Lahijan, Iran.

Table 1: The general physical and
chemical characteristics of soil
in the research are.

Texture   Sand   Silt   Clay   K     P    N       pH

Si-cl-1   18     40     40     170   15   0.121   5.9

Table 2: Altitude range and
limit values in The research area.

Altitude   Limit values in
 range      The range(m)

   1           250-450
   2           451-650
   3           651-850
   4          851-1050
   5          1051-1250
   6          1251-1450
   7          1451-1650
   8          1651-1850
   9          1850-2050
   10         2051-2250

Figure 3: Mean diameter of various trees
at different altitude

 Altitude     Mean diameter
Classes (m)       (cm)

    350           30.24
    550           23.88
    750           29.72
    950           42.85
   1150           35.83
   1350           36.80
   1550           30.02
   1750           27.78
   1950           26.97
   2150           16.91

Notes: table made from bar graph.

Figure 4: The distribution of number of
trees in the diameter classes.

 Diameter       Number
Classes (cm)   of trees

     10          1305
     15           787
     25           604
     30           330
     35           330
     40           266
     45           257
     50           177
     55           186
     60           160
     65           139
     70           117
     75           107
     80           53
     85           52
     90           42
     95           31
    100           35
    105           22
    110           15
    115           13
    120            3
    125            4
    130            2
    135            4
    140            2
    145            2
    150            1

Note: table made from bar graph.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Original Article
Author:Fallahchai, Mir Mozaffar
Publication:Advances in Environmental Biology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Sep 1, 2011
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