Spatial distribution of regeneration patches in old growth oriental beech forests in northern Iran

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Regeneration patches have key role in forest stand dynamic, new findings about the structural properties of patches can be useful in forest ecosystem management. We quantified the spatial and structural pattern of regeneration patches in old growth beech stands in a Gorazbon forest in the northern Iran. 461 patches were measured that covered 8.3% of total forest area. Patch size varied from 55 m2 to 2987 m2. The majority of the patches were small; 71.6% were less than the mean patch area of 1330 m2 and were belonged to sapling patches (N = 295), also 166 seedling patches were recorded. The results showed that the major distribution pattern of patches in different compartments was random and patchy. These results confirm this fact that human activity and natural disturbances should be providing a homogenous spatial distribution pattern of patches in the high spatial scale. However among different forest stand and compartments spatial pattern of patches change randomly, that can create the natural situation and near to nature structure in beech stands

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