Plant communities of the Karkas Hunting-Prohibited Region, Isfahan-Iran
S.J. Khajeddin, H. Yeganehhttps://doi.org/10.17221/413-PSECitation:Khajeddin S.J., Yeganeh H. (2008): Plant communities of the Karkas Hunting-Prohibited Region, Isfahan-Iran. Plant Soil Environ., 54: 347-358.
The Karkas mountainous region is a very interesting area for its big game wildlife and rare species in the Irano-Touranian biogeographic region. It is essential to study the plant communities and the impact of environmental factors, to protect and rehabilitate these ecosystems. The studied region is located in the Isfahan province, central Iran, with the area of about 92 100 ha. The aim of the study was to identify the plant communities of the Karkas Hunting-Prohibited Region. Vegetation cover was sampled using a stratified random sampling method and the entities were preliminarily segmented with the physiognomic-floristic-ecologic method. 10 × 10 m quadrates (100 m2) were used to estimate the species cover, litter, stone, gravel and bare soil percentages. Plant communities were classified using cluster analyses and denderogram construction. The results confirmed the importance of the climatic and topographic factors that affect the establishment of the plant communities. Plant habitats in the region are mosaics and cause ecoton formations, so diversities in species combinations increase. The species diversity of the communities was measured using the Shannon coefficient; it varied from 2.26 to 0.39. According to cluster analyses, there are 15 different plant communities, but when the second dominant species were considered, some communities were further divided into sub-communities.Keywords:plant community; cluster analyses; similarity index; Karkas; Iran