Impact of long and short-term conservation periods on structure of English yew (Taxus baccata L.) in Arasbaran forests, Iran

https://doi.org/10.17221/45/2019-JFSCitation:Ghanbari S., Sefidi K., Aghai M. (2019): Impact of long and short-term conservation periods on structure of English yew (Taxus baccata L.) in Arasbaran forests, Iran. J. For. Sci., 65: 272-282.
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Yew (Taxus baccata L.) is one of the most important and threatened tree species in the Arasbaran region of northwestern Iran. To understand the natural stand structure of yew forests to inform forest management, we assessed the structural characteristics and composition of yew communities using the nearest neighbour and full callipering method at three sites with different conservation histories. Within a one-hectare sampling area, tree species identity, diameter, height, and crown diameter were measured. In each of these sampling areas, 56 sample points were surveyed in a 25 m × 25 m grid for tree species identity, diameter, height, and distance from reference to neighbour trees. To quantify the structural characteristics in areas of different conservation status, some indices were calculated including mingling, distance between reference tree and its nearest neighbouring trees, diameter and height differentiation, uniform angle, and Clark-Evans index. Results revealed that four species – hornbeam (68%), maple (8%), yew (7%), and oak (5.2%) – composed 88% of the tree species. The majority of trees had a short distance (2–3 m) between neighbours. The mean diameter differentiation index for long-term and short-term conservation areas was 0.59 and 0.06, respectively. The uniform angle index showed that there was no class value = “1” at all three sites. In the long-term enclosed area, Clark-Evans index was 1.18. In short-term enclosed areas, it was less than 1 (0.82). At all sites, yew trees were in the least vital class. We conclude that enclosing affects the yew stand structure, specifically in long-term periods of enclosure.

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