General Commission for Scientific Agriculture Research, Administration of Natural Resources Research
Faculty of Agriculture, Tishreen University
This study handles the plant species diversity in terms of forest structure and its relation to compositional diversity. The purpose is to contribute in understanding the biodiversity in its various types and providing useful data in the management of this diversity.
The study has been conducted in Al Fronloq protected area in Lattakia Governorate in Syria, starting from 52 samples of 100 m².
The study showed an important diversity in the stand characteristics, such as: density, coverage, diameter, basal area and height. These characteristics, affect the diversity of the herbaceous layer more than the site conditions do. Furthermore, the impact of these characteristics was clearer, when measuring biodiversity with abundance depending indices, than when measuring it with simple indices like richness. On another side, these stand characteristics have assisted in determining six basic structures by using the method of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Cluster Analysis.
The results showed that plant diversity is correlated with forest structure. This correlation has appeared more in terms of composition than in terms of richness or abundance. This demonstrates the importance of studying the functional aspect of biodiversity.
Furthermore, this study showed the positive effect of mixing forests on plant diversity of the understory; In fact, the structures dominated by Pinus brutia mixed with Quercus cerris ssp. pseudocerris , were distinguished by high level diversity comparing to the pure structures of Pinus brutia. The study showed a better regeneration in broadleaves stands, particularly in the Quercus cerris ssp. pseudocerris and the Quercus infectoria ssp. microphylla stands, comparing to the regeneration of the Pinus brutia stands. Also, the regeneration of these species was better in the mixed than in the pure stands.
This field of research is relatively new, and it could initiate further going deeply into this aspect, through the encouragement to increase the awareness of Research and Applied Establishment, due to its benefits in forest management and silviculture.