Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 647–658 | Cite as

Composition, structure and regeneration dynamics of Olea ferruginea Royle forests from Hindukush range of Pakistan

  • Khan NasrullahEmail author
  • Ali Fayaz
  • Ali Kishwar
  • Shaukat Shahid


The abundance of Olea ferruginea in Malakand Division has been significantly reduced across its distribution range due to anthropogenic pressure in the recent past. A number of initiatives were taken for grafting this species to obtain better seeds for oil production, without the basic information on their ecology and management. To address this knowledge gap, we quantified the composition, structure and regeneration dynamics of Olea ferruginea forests in Malakand Division, Hindukush range of Pakistan. In the present study, five communities dominated by Olea ferruginea were identified using Ward’s agglomerative cluster analysis. Total tree density ranged from 153–2602 plants/ha, and basal area from 19.55 to 2353 m2 ha−1 with Olea having a relative density of 51% to 87% and basal area of 48% to 93%, respectively. The density of juveniles of the dominant and subordinate tree species were generally low which reflect their narrow distribution in the study area. Size-class distributions of O. ferruginea disclosed a bell-shaped pattern, indicating that forests were heavily exploited by local inhabitants in previous periods and recently by armed forces owing to security risks in the study area. The age (mean max. 300±34 years) and annual increment (3.2±1.2 years/cm) indicates that the species is long lived and generally slow growing among the different broad leaved species studied so far. However, the oldest trees can be found by the exploration of large diameter trees in the area. In addition, we found a stable linear relationship between the age and diameter (r 2 = 0.779), indicating that diameter is a good predictor of age for this broad leaved species. In view of its relatively slow growth, longevity and positive ring-width characteristics O. ferruginea seems to be a suitable choice for dendroecological and dendrochronological studies in lesser Himalayan and Hindukush ranges of Pakistan. The results obtained from this study may help in understanding the composition, structure and regeneration dynamics of other subtropical broad leaved species.


Olea ferruginea Species composition Ward’s agglomerative cluster analysis Seedling Dendroecology 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Khan Nasrullah
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ali Fayaz
    • 1
  • Ali Kishwar
    • 2
  • Shaukat Shahid
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of Plant Ecology Department of Botany University of MalakandChakdara Dir Lower Khyber PakhtunkhwaPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Plant Sciences, School of Biological SciencesUniversity of ReadingReadingUK
  3. 3.Institute of Environmental StudiesUniversity of KarachiKarachiPakistan

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