Table of Contents
International Scholarly Research Notices
Volume 2014, Article ID 421457, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/421457
Research Article

Dynamic of Plant Composition and Regeneration following Windthrow in a Temperate Beech Forest

Faculty of Natural Resources & Marine Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Mazandaran, Noor 46417-76489, Iran

Received 19 March 2014; Accepted 27 May 2014; Published 22 July 2014

Academic Editor: Guillermo Martinez Pastur

Copyright © 2014 Sakineh Mollaei Darabi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The effects of soil pedoturbation (i.e., pit and mound microtopography, PM) on development of herbaceous plant species and woody species regeneration were examined in a temperate beech forest (Fagus orientalis Lipsky) in northern Iran. We recorded the vegetation in 20 pairs of disturbed and adjacent undisturbed plots and established a chronosequence of PM ages to study the effect of time since microsite formation on cover percent of herbaceous plants and woody regeneration status. According to our findings, Carex acutiformis L., Sambucus ebulus L., Brachypodium pinnatum L., and Cyclamen coum L. are found only in the PM microsites, whereas the Equisetum ramosissimum L. is recorded only under closed canopy. The coverage percent of Rubus caesius L. increased in PM microsites compared to closed canopy intensively. In addition, Albizia julibrissin Durazz. is detected in PM microsite, whereas the Acer cappadocicum B. and Prunus persica L. species were recorded only under closed canopy. We found significant differences in understory species diversity between different ages of PM, and disturbed and adjacent undisturbed plots. Our study supports that the PM complex will create a mosaic of environmental conditions. This environmental heterogeneity could be responsible for the diversity of herbaceous plant species and regeneration of woody species.