iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Influences of forest gaps on soil physico-chemical and biological properties in an oriental beech (Fagus orientalis L.) stand of Hyrcanian forest, north of Iran

Alireza Amolikondori (1), Kambiz Abrari Vajari (1)   , Mohammad Feizian (1), Antonino Di Iorio (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 124-129 (2020)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3205-013
Published: Apr 07, 2020 - Copyright © 2020 SISEF

Research Articles

Understanding the effects of silvicultural practices including single-tree selection on soil properties is essential for forest management in temperate broadleaved beech forests. Changes in physico-chemical and biological soil properties in 15 harvest-created gaps under single-tree selection and the adjacent closed canopies, with five replications for each, were studied 6 years after gap creation in an oriental beech (Fagus orientalis L.) stand of the Hyrcanian forest. Gaps were classified into three size classes: small (85-130 m2), medium (131-175 m2) and large (176-300 m2). Soil cores were collected at the center and at the edge of gaps, and under the adjacent closed canopy. Results indicated that gap size significantly affected soil texture and bulk density, whereas soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen and pH showed a significant gradient from the center to the edge of gap independently form their size. SOC and total nitrogen at the center of gaps were also significantly lower than closed-canopy, in particular for the medium-gap; contrastingly, the bulk density with the highest mean value was found at the center of the large-gap. Gap size had no significant influence on soil microbial biomass. These results highlighted that similar conditions in terms of many soil properties were still present among gaps and adjacent closed-canopy stands six years after logging, though canopy openness triggered a reduction in carbon and nitrogen availability along with the related microbial activity at the center of gaps, independently from their size. Therefore, if aimed at preserving an uneven aged structure along with soil quality in temperate broadleaved deciduous forest as the oriental beech stands in the Hyrcanian region, single-tree selection practice for harvesting trees can be recommended as sustainable forest management type.


Artificial Gap, Oriental Beech, Temperate Forests, Soil Properties

Authors’ address

Alireza Amolikondori
Kambiz Abrari Vajari 0000-0002-7637-3984
Mohammad Feizian 0000-0002-0212-3712
Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resource, Lorestan University, Khorramabad (Iran)
Antonino Di Iorio 0000-0002-8998-7694
Department of Biotechnology and Life Science, University of Insubria, 21100 Varese (Italy)

Corresponding author

Kambiz Abrari Vajari


Amolikondori A, Abrari Vajari K, Feizian M, Di Iorio A (2020). Influences of forest gaps on soil physico-chemical and biological properties in an oriental beech (Fagus orientalis L.) stand of Hyrcanian forest, north of Iran. iForest 13: 124-129. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3205-013

Academic Editor

Giorgio Alberti

Paper history

Received: Jul 30, 2019
Accepted: Jan 25, 2020

First online: Apr 07, 2020
Publication Date: Apr 30, 2020
Publication Time: 2.43 months

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