Are disturbances altering the species composition of Iranian oak woodland?

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Research Paper 01/01/2015
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Are disturbances altering the species composition of Iranian oak woodland?

Hamidreza Mirdavoodi, Mohamadreza Marvie Mohadjer, Mark Davis, Ghavamedin Zahedi Amiri, Vahid Etemad, Ehsan Zandi Esfahan
J. Bio. Env. Sci.6( 1), 501-512, January 2015.
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Abstract

The species composition of plant communities is influenced by the interaction of disturbances and environmental factors. This study examined the effect of environmental factors and disturbance (grazing and fire) on plant species composition of oak (Quercus brantii Lindl.) woodlands in western Iran. Vegetation and soil and other environmental variables were measured in 77 sample plots distributed among in various disturbance classes. Canonical correspondence analysis, combined with forward selection was used for data analysis. For each variable, the gross and net effect on plant species composition was calculated. Numerical index were applied to assess plant diversity of vegetation units. Disturbance and environmental variables explained 24.9% of the total variation in species data. Most variation in species data was explained by disturbance, followed by soil, light and topography. Our results showed that disturbances in the oak woodlands of the study were an important factor to change the species composition in oak woodlands and altered the plant species composition in predictable ways.

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