iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


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 (1), Fariba Esfandiary Darabad (2), Mojtaba Azaryan (3)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 4, Pages 658-665 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1080-008
Published: Mar 17, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

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.


Stand Structure, Physical Geography, Landform, Caspian Forest, Fagus orientalis

Authors’ address

Kiomars Sefidi
Faculty of Agriculture Technology and Natural resources, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil (Iran)
Fariba Esfandiary Darabad
Department of Physical Geography, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil (Iran)
Mojtaba Azaryan
College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Tehran,Tehran (Iran)

Corresponding author


Sefidi K, Esfandiary Darabad F, Azaryan M (2016). 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. iForest 9: 658-665. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1080-008

Academic Editor

Emanuele Lingua

Paper history

Received: Jul 19, 2013
Accepted: Nov 11, 2015

First online: Mar 17, 2016
Publication Date: Aug 09, 2016
Publication Time: 4.23 months

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