Effects of Management on the Amount and Characteristics of Woody Debris in Mixed Stands of Caspian Forests

Farshad Keivan Behjou, Omid Ghafarzade Mollabashi, Neda Amirahmadi

Abstract


Woody debris (WD), including coarse woody debris (CWD) and fine woody debris (FWD), is an essential structural and functional component of forest ecosystems. This study was carried out in Caspian hardwood forest sites. In this study, the volume and composition of WD were inventoried by line intersect sampling and fixed area plot sampling in unmanaged and managed forests on 6 compartments (3 managed and 3 unmanaged). Estimates of the total volume of WD in managed and unmanaged forests ranged from 11.9 m3.ha-1 to 25.82 m3.ha-1, respectively. The results of independent t tests indicated that the amount of CWD in the unmanaged forests was significantly higher than CWD in the managed ones (t22, 0.05 = 2.64, P = 0.015). Also, the results of independent t tests indicated that the amount of FWD in the managed forests was significantly higher than FWD in unmanaged forests (t4, 0.05 = 5.07, P = 0.007). In the unmanaged forests, WD in decay classes 3, 4, and 5 accounted for 77% of the total WD volume, but in the managed forests, WD in decay classes 1 and 2 accounted for 87% of the total WD volume. The results suggest preserving the current unmanaged forests (protected forests) and maintaining the structural and functional integrity of woody debris.

Keywords


Woody debris; Forest management; Line intersect method; Mixed stand; Caspian forests

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