European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 133, Issue 2, pp 347–354 | Cite as

Pit and mound influence on soil features in an Oriental Beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky) forest

  • Yahya Kooch
  • Claudio ZacconeEmail author
  • Norbert P. Lamersdorf
  • Giustino Tonon
Original Paper


Windthrow, i.e. the felling of trees by wind, occurs continually in forest ecosystems. The uprooting of old trees creates multiple microsites (e.g. pit and mound landscape) that are the main source of soil heterogeneity. To determine the impact of pit and mound landscapes on soil features, a beech forest of the Langa district (Mazandaran province, Northern Iran) was studied. An area of 25 ha was considered for this study wherein three microsites were distinguished, including pit bottom (pit), mount top (mound) and level areas (closed canopy). In this area, 22 uprooted trees were also found. Soil samples were collected at different depths (i.e. 0–15, 15–30 and 30–45 cm) from all microsites and analysed. Our study shows that windthrow events should be considered as an important factor in influencing forest ecosystem, as they affect physical (i.e. density, texture and water content), chemical (i.e. pH, organic C, total N, cation exchange capacity and available nutrients) and biological (i.e. soil microbial respiration and earthworm density/biomass) characteristics of soil, thus resulting in pit and mound microsites that may strongly differ with respect to the closed canopy.


Windthrow event Soil chemistry Soil biology Hyrcanian forest Beech 

Supplementary material

10342_2013_766_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yahya Kooch
    • 1
  • Claudio Zaccone
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Norbert P. Lamersdorf
    • 4
  • Giustino Tonon
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of Natural Resources and Marine SciencesTarbiat Modares UniversityNoorIran
  2. 2.Department of the Sciences of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentUniversity of FoggiaFoggiaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Renewable ResourcesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  4. 4.Buesgen Institute, Soil Science of Temperate and Boreal EcosystemsGeorg-August University of GoettingenGöttingenGermany
  5. 5.Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversity of Bozen/BolzanoBolzanoItaly

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