Assessment of Quantitative and Qualitative characteristics of Golestan Province Forests in an 11-year period (Iran)

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Faculty of Natural Resources, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran.

2 Faculty of Natural Resources, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran

3 Department of Natural Resources and Watershed Management of Golestan Province, Gorgan, Iran,

Abstract

The assessment of the quantitative and qualitative changes, the result of the impacts imposed by natural factors, and human interventions during specific sampling periods has a substantial influence on nature, management method and tending operation of every region’s forests. The present research was carried out in Golestan province forests (Iran) over an 11- year period and the obtained statistical data was analyzed based on systematic random sampling method with fixed sample plots (0.1 ha). The results of this research showed that based on the number of sample plots, the change area % of Golestan province forests increased from 1018 sample plots in the beginning of the studied period (1996) to 1114, recorded at the end of the mentioned period (2007). The inventory performed in 2007 showed that considering the percentage of canopy, the area percentage of Golestan province forests, as well, increased in 0-30% and >80% canopy classes compared to 1996, whereas in 30-50% and 50-80% classes, there was a considerable reduction in the percentage of canopy in the given forests. Comparing the productive and non-productive forests indicated that compared to 1996, the area of protection and conservation forests increased in 2007. The results also revealed that the number and volume per hectare of Golestan province forests were dramatically reduced 53.6N.ha and 1104.9m3ha-1, for 1996 and 2007 respectively. The research results, also, indicated that the highest abundance of regeneration, observed in Golestan forest species, is pertaining to seedling and sapling vegetation stages.

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