Plant ecological groups and soil properties of common hazel (Corylus avellana L.) stand in Safagashteh forest, north of Iran
Adel, Mohammad Naghi
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In Safragashteh forest of Fuman in north of Iran, there is a hazel stand, which has grown naturally. The aim of this research was to evaluate the plant communities and soil characteristics in the area. This study included 50 ha of hazel protected area. A selective sampling method was utilized to record 30 400 m2 for tree and shrub layers, and sub-plots of 100 m2 for herbaceous species. Soil samples were collected at the 30 plots. We found three ecological species groups in the study area. Corylus avellana and Epimedium pinnatum in first group, Fagus orientalis, Asperula odorata, Euphorbia amygdaloides, Carex sp., Fragaria vesca and Viola sylvestris in second group, and Crataegus microphylla, Ilex spinigera, Primula heterochroma, Sedum stoloniferum and Vicia crocea in thirth group were the indicator species. Sand percent was significantly highest in Corylus avellana group, while clay, nutrients elements, pH and SP were significantly highest in the other groups. Biodiversity indices in Corylus avellana group were significantly less than other stands. We recommend to provide comprehensive conservation and management programs in order to protect of common hazel, associated plant species, and to prevent of human activities such as recreational use and livestock.
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