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Open AccessArticle

Analyzing the Biological and Structural Diversity of Hyrcanian Forests Dominated by Taxus baccata L.

1
Department of Forestry, Faculty of Natural Resources, Tarbiat Modares University, P.O. Box 64414-356, Nour, Mazandaran, Iran
2
Faculty of Forestry and Forest Ecology, Georg-August-Universität, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
3
Department of Forest and Wood Science, Faculty of AgriSciences, Stellenbosch University, Matieland 7602, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(6), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060701
Received: 16 May 2020 / Revised: 15 June 2020 / Accepted: 20 June 2020 / Published: 24 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
The Hyrcanian Forests, well-known for its World Heritage site in the South Caspian region of Northern Iran, are refugia for a special tree flora. Some areas in particular feature a concentration of large and numerous trees of Taxus baccata, a species that has attracted the interest of many researchers given its medicinal importance. The objective of this study was to analyze the biological and structural features of these unique ecosystems based on three large tree-mapped field plots using new methods. We developed a species abundance distribution and three species–area relations, and analyzed the small-scale structural patterns of each of the 15 tree species that occur in the plots. Species-specific details are presented for each of the three field plots, including the tree densities and average tree sizes, as well as the associated structural indices “species mingling”, “dominance”, and “size differentiation”. This includes non-linear relationships between tree density and neighborhood mingling, and between the average tree size and neighborhood dominance, and a linear relation between the neighborhood dominance and the mean neighborhood differentiation. Based on the findings, we recommend the use of these methods and indices for analyzing the structure of natural forests in other regions of the world. View Full-Text
Keywords: Taxus baccata; South Caspian forests; neighborhood structure; species abundance distribution Taxus baccata; South Caspian forests; neighborhood structure; species abundance distribution
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Alavi, S.J.; Veiskarami, R.; Esmailzadeh, O.; Gadow, K. Analyzing the Biological and Structural Diversity of Hyrcanian Forests Dominated by Taxus baccata L.. Forests 2020, 11, 701.

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