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Diversity 2011, 3(3), 531-546;

Forest Biodiversity Assessment in Relic Ecosystem: Monitoring and Management Practice Implications

Department of Sciences, Faculty of Natural & Applied Sciences, Notre Dame University, P.O. Box 72, Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon
Instituto de Biología Vegetal y Biotecnología, Universidad de Talca, 2 Norte 685, Talca, Chile
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 July 2011 / Revised: 25 August 2011 / Accepted: 7 September 2011 / Published: 21 September 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity, Conservation and Ecosystem Management)
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The remnants of old-growth cedar forests in Lebanon are currently protected since they are taken to represent relic ecosystems sheltering many endemic, rare and endangered species. However, it is not always obvious how “natural” these forest relics are, and how the past use, conservation and management history have affected their current structural properties and species community composition. Even though Integrated Monitoring Programs have been initiated and developed, they are not being implemented effectively. The present research studied the effect of forest stand structure and the impacts of the anthropogenic activities effects on forest composition and floristic richness in four cedar forests in Lebanon. Horizontal and vertical structure was assessed by relying on the measurement of the physical characteristics and status of cedar trees including diversity and similarity indices. Two hundred and seventeen flora species were identified, among which 51 species were found to have biogeographical specificity and peculiar traits. The species composition seems not to be correlated with stand age structure; however, the occurrence of multiple age cedar stands favors floristic richness and variability in species composition as observed in one of the stands where the variation in diversity indices was high. In conclusion; to conserve biodiversity across landscapes, it is necessary to maintain a collection of stands of different vertical structure; an effect produced both by natural and anthropogenic disturbances since they both create a mosaic of different aged succession stands. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lebanon; cedar; diversity indices; Sørenson coefficient; forest age structure Lebanon; cedar; diversity indices; Sørenson coefficient; forest age structure
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Sattout, E.; Caligari, P.D.S. Forest Biodiversity Assessment in Relic Ecosystem: Monitoring and Management Practice Implications. Diversity 2011, 3, 531-546.

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