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Journal of Forestry Research

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 455–462 | Cite as

Effect of livestock grazing and human uses on herbaceous species diversity in oriental beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky) forests, Guilan, Masal, northern Iran

  • Side Sadat EbrahimiEmail author
  • Hassan Pourbabaei
  • David Potheir
  • Ali Omidi
  • Javad Torkaman
Original Paper

Abstract

Plant diversity plays key ecological roles in forest ecosystems, including influencing succession, resilience and nutrient cycling. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of livestock grazing and human uses on herbaceous species diversity. We surveyed 50 ha of protected area and 50 ha of unprotected area to evaluate herbaceous species diversity in oriental beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky) forests in northern Iran. We calculated and compared three indices each of diversity and evenness, and species richness between the two areas. Herbaceous cover was higher in the unprotected area while leaf litter depth and tree canopy cover were higher in the protected area. The diversity indices, H (Shannon-Wiener index), N1 (McArthur index), N2 (Hill’s index), EQ (Modified Nee index), Evar (Smith-Wilson index), E5 (modified index of Hill) and R=S (species richness) and species richness R=S were greater in the protected area than in the unprotected area, suggesting that protection from grazing results in increased numbers of plants and species. The effect of land protection on plant diversity was more pronounced for evenness than for species richness and the positive correlation between diversity and evenness indices was higher than that between diversity and richness.

Keywords

grazing human uses richness evenness beech forests Caspian forest 

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Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Side Sadat Ebrahimi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hassan Pourbabaei
    • 1
  • David Potheir
    • 2
  • Ali Omidi
    • 3
  • Javad Torkaman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Forestry, Natural Resource FacultyUniversity of Guilan, SomehsaraGuilanIran
  2. 2.Centre d’étude de la forêt (CEF), and Département des sciences du bois et de la forêt, Pavillon Abitibi-PriceUniversité Laval, QuébecLavalCanada
  3. 3.Department of ForestryNatural Resources OfficeGuilanIran

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