Folia Geobotanica

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 63–75 | Cite as

Structure, composition and regeneration of riparian forest along an altitudinal gradient in northern Iran

  • Mohammad Naghi Adel
  • Hassan Pourbabaei
  • Ali Salehi
  • Seyed Jalil Alavi
  • Daniel C. Dey


In order to protect and understand the regeneration of riparian forests, it is important to understand the environmental conditions that lead to their vegetation differentiation. We evaluated the structure, composition, density and regeneration of woody species in forests along the river Safaroud in Ramsar forest in northern Iran in relation to elevation, soil properties and distance from the river. Using 60 transects located perpendicularly to river and 300 quadrats, we examined forests 0, 50, 100, 150 and 200 m from the stream along an elevation gradient spanning from 350 to 2,400 m a.s.l. We found that total density, regeneration, diameter and basal area of trees were significantly higher in the interior of the forest whereas shrub density was higher close to the river. The uneven-aged forest structure showed no significant differences among gradient from the river to the forest interior. Hydro-geomorphic processes, flooding, the elevation gradient, distance from the river and soil properties were the most important factors that influenced plant community distribution in relation to the river.


Flooding Multivariate analysis Northern Iran Plant community distribution Soil properties Structure 



We thank the Office of Natural Resources of Ramsar city and everyone else that helped us collect field data, identify species and conduct soil testing.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Naghi Adel
    • 1
  • Hassan Pourbabaei
    • 1
  • Ali Salehi
    • 1
  • Seyed Jalil Alavi
    • 2
  • Daniel C. Dey
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Forestry, Faculty of Natural ResourcesUniversity of GuilanRashtIslamic Republic of Iran
  2. 2.Department of Forestry, Faculty of Natural Resources and Marine SciencesTarbiat Modares UniversityNoor-TehranIslamic Republic of Iran
  3. 3.USDA Forest Service, Northern Research StationColumbiaUSA

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