Comparison of plant diversity between managed and unmanaged forests in Haftkhal, Mazandaran Province, North of Iran




Abstract. Kiasari MSh, Sagheb-Talebi Kh, Rahmani R, Ghelichnia H. 2023. Comparison of plant diversity between managed and unmanaged forests in Haftkhal, Mazandaran Province, North of Iran. Asian J For 7: 106-113. The relationship of plant diversity with silvicultural practices has not been fully understood for the oriental beech forests (Fagus orientalis Lipsky), which is a widespread forest tree in the Hyrcanian Region, Iran. The implementation of appropriate forestry practices in the oriental beech forests is therefore crucial in terms of sustainable forest management. Hence, assessing the impacts of silvicultural practices on plant diversity is essential with the regard to sustainable forest management. This study aimed to compare plant species diversity between two managed and unmanaged forest stands in Mazandaran Province, Iran. Forest inventory in an area of 131 ha was performed using in a systematic random sampling with a 150 × 200 m grid size. In addition, the area of sampling was 100 m2 (10 × 10 m). Twenty and thirty sampling plots were established in managed (compartment No. 8) and unmanaged (compartment No. 36) forests, respectively. Shannon-Wiener and Simpson Indices were used to calculate plant species diversity, while Margalef and Sheldon indices were used to determine species richness and evenness, respectively. The results revealed that 50 and 56 plant species were found in managed and unmanaged forests, respectively. Rosaceae, Asteraceae, and Fabaceae were the main families in these studied areas. This study showed that the diversity and richness of plants in the managed forest slightly increased compared to the unmanaged forest. On the other hand, the evenness of plants in the managed forest slightly decreased compared to the unmanaged forest. Changes in plant diversity indices between managed and unmanaged forests were not statistically significant. This research showed that forest management of oriental beech forests using the single-tree selection cutting has not reduced or weakened the diversity of plant species in the managed forest compared to the unmanaged forest.



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