Understory vegetation as environmental factors indicator in forest ecosystems|
Mataji, A.; Moarefvand, P.; Babaei Kafaki, S. & Madanipour Kermanshahi, M.
Physiographic factors along with edaphic conditions play a crucial role in establishment of plant species throughout a region. Identification of the most effective factors is of high importance in sustainable management of a forest ecosystem. This study aims to investigate the relationships between understory vegetation and some environmental factors in natural forest ecosystems. This study has been carried out among the Fagetum orientalis communities of Ramsar Region, located in the north of Iran. For this purpose, 105 releves were sampled by a randomized-systematic method throughout the study area, using the Braun-Blanquet scale. Physiographic parameters such as elevation, as well as slope and orientation were measured. By identification of the herb-layer vegetation contained in each sampling, vegetation composition and cover abundance of species were separately identified. Then, the aforementioned properties of soil were entirely measured in the taken samples. Cluster analysis and detrended correspondence analysis have been applied to classify the site. Moreover, in order to determine the relation between species composition and environmental factors, canonical correspondence analysis was used. Results showed a significant relation between distribution of plant types and environmental factors. Eventually, environmental factors including slope, orientation, silt percent, pH, organic matter, soluble phosphorous were among the most effective factors in establishment of Hedera pastuchowii, Solanum kieseritzkii, Oplismenus undulatifolius, Sedum stoloniferum, Rubus hyrcanus and Saxifraga cymbalaria species.
Environmental factors; Herb layer; Multivariate analysis