Publication Details

Fuelwood Harvest and No Harvest Effects on Forest Composition, Structure, and Diversity of Arasbaran Forests—A Case Study

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Ghanbari, Sajad ; Kern, Christel C.

Year Published

2021

Publication

Forests

Abstract

The impact of fuelwood harvesting on forest structure and composition is not clear, especially on the understudied and scarce Arasbaran forests in Iran. This research compared woody species density, species diversity, forest composition, and regeneration status in areas of continuous and ceased fuelwood harvesting in Arasbaran forests. We expected fuelwood harvesting to decrease stem density, species diversity, tree size (diameter at the breast height (DBH) and height), and shift composition away from preferred fuelwood species. We measured woody species size and frequency and identified species in three fuelwood harvest and three no harvest sites, with six sample plots (100 m × 50 m) per site. Results tended to show differences in composition, diversity, woody species height, and density. Carpinus orientalis, a preferred fuelwood species, tended to be more dominant in no harvest (importance values index (IVI) = 173.4) than harvest areas (IVI = 4.4). The diversity or richness of woody species tended to be higher in harvest (20 ± 1 species per ha) than in no harvest (14 ± 2 species per ha) areas, and other measures of diversity supported this trend as well. Harvest areas tended to also be characterized by shorter tree height and lower density of trees, a higher density of regeneration, and fewer small pole-sized trees than no harvest areas. Ongoing fuelwood harvests may further shift composition and structure away from no harvest area, compromising future fuelwood availability, but further detailed research is needed. Close to nature practices may be useful in sustaining fuelwood harvest areas and diversifying areas where fuelwood harvesting has ceased.

Keywords

forest stocking; diameter distribution; height development; Acer campestre; tree recruitment; species composition; fuelwood collection

Citation

Ghanbari, Sajad; Kern, Christel C. 2021. Fuelwood Harvest and No Harvest Effects on Forest Composition, Structure, and Diversity of Arasbaran Forests—A Case Study. Forests. 12(12): 1631. 15 p. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12121631.

Last updated on: December 8, 2021