Volume 9, Issue 18 (9-2021)                   ifej 2021, 9(18): 169-178 | Back to browse issues page

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Bayranvand M B, Akbarinia M, Salehi Jouzani G, Gharechahi J, Kooch Y. (2021). Humus index assessment in relation to forest cover variables and altitude gradient. ifej. 9(18), 169-178. doi:10.52547/ifej.9.18.169
URL: http://ifej.sanru.ac.ir/article-1-379-en.html
Faculty of Natural Resources & Marine Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University (TMU), I. R. Iran
Abstract:   (2432 Views)
Introduction and objective: The humus index is a numerical score based on the visual assessment of organic horizons and humus forms identification. This index reflects different characteristics of forests stand and soil. Forest humus is an intermediate between plants and soil, which is affected by various factors, such as topography, climate, vegetation and soil. Nevertheless, by digging the humus profile and determining its index, it is also possible to determine many ecological factors. The aim of this study was to investigate the humus index and its relationship with topographic, soil and forest cover characteristics along an altitudinal gradient in the four-altitude class, including 0, 500, 1000 and 1500 meters above sea level (m a.s.l.), in Vaz forests located in Mazandaran province.
Materials and methods: In each altitude class, the characteristics of the trees such as crown canopy, density, diameter and height, as well as topography and soil characteristics such as altitude, slope percentage, soil moisture and temperature were taken in 400 m2 plots, and in each plot, five 30 × 30 cm profiles for identification of humus forms were drilled and then identified and classified based on Humusica classification. In order to evaluate the humus index between different altitude classes was used one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), as well as to analyze its relationship with the mentioned characteristics, multiple linear regression analysis (MLR) was used.
Results: The results showed that the highest amount of humus index and litter thickness belonged to the altitude class 1500 m a.s.l. and their trend is increasing along the altitudinal gradient. Also, the results of MLR indicate the existence of a linear and significant relationship is between humus index and topographic and soil characteristics with high determination coefficient (R2 = 0.76), especially soil temperature with (P-value = 0.000), while the tree cover characteristics with a low determination coefficient (R2 = 0.31), cannot well be a good predictor for evaluating the humus index. Meanwhile, soil temperature and trees crown canopy are two factors that have shown the highest t-statistics in relation to the humus index, so that the decrease in soil temperature and trees crown canopy has increased the humus index.
Conclusion: In general, it can be concluded that with increasing altitude, the organic part of the forest floor and Humus index increase, and their variability is mostly due to changes in topographic and soil temperature characteristics.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: اکولوژی جنگل
Received: 2020/04/22 | Accepted: 2020/06/28 | Published: 2022/01/8

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