iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Effects of silvicultural thinning on stand structure and coarse woody debris in the deciduous Arasbaran forest, Iran

Sajad Ghanbari (1)   , Kiomars Sefidi (2), Pedro Álvarez-Álvarez (3), Omid Fathizadeh (1), Ahmad Abbasnezhad Alchin (4)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 16, Issue 6, Pages 377-384 (2023)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor4312-016
Published: Dec 19, 2023 - Copyright © 2023 SISEF

Research Articles

Forest stand structure is influenced by artificial factors such as silvicultural activities, and by natural factors such as wildfires, floods, windstorms, diseases, and insect infestations. The silvicultural treatments used during the transformation of coppice to the coppice-with-standard system are a main source of coarse woody debris (CWD). Even small changes in the amounts and/or types of CWD can threaten forest biodiversity, including plant and bird diversity. In this study, we compared managed and unmanaged forest stands in Northwest Iran to better understand changes in species composition and stand characteristics (with particular reference to CWD) in relation to silvicultural practices. In total, thirty-six 0.5-hectare sampling plots were surveyed (total area: 18 ha). We found significant differences between the cut (active management) and uncut areas (proforestation) in indices of height, number of tree species, canopy cover of live and fallen trees, dead tree density, and relative frequency of dead trees. The sample plots included 22 species of live trees, and the CWD was generated by 16 of these species. The number of stems of live trees in the sample plots was 2.653 (SE = 181), with Carpinus orientalis accounting for the highest mean density of live trees. C. orientalis also provided the highest total frequency of downed logs (70%) in the stands, followed by Quercus macranthera (20%). Q. macranthera accounted for the highest relative frequency of dead trees in the stands. In total, around 42% of the CWD consisted of logs lying on the forest floor, followed by dead trees (39%) and stumps (19%). Most of the CWD was included in decay class (DC) 2 (71.6%), followed by DC1 (16.7%) and DC3 (11.3%). Forest managers must balance the amount of CWD, especially from dead trees, in these stands to conserve the diversity of the material in terms of both decay class and tree species.


Coppice-with-standard System, Quercus macranthera, Silvicultural Activities, Structural Characteristics, Tree Removal

Authors’ address

Sajad Ghanbari 0000-0002-6568-1025
Omid Fathizadeh 0000-0002-0696-7090
Dept. of Forestry, University of Tabriz, Tabriz (Iran)
Kiomars Sefidi 0000-0001-7115-5059
University of Mohaghegh Ardebili, Ardebil (Iran)
Pedro Álvarez-Álvarez 0000-0002-6898-8137
Department of Organisms and Systems Biology, Polytechnic School of Mieres, University of Oviedo, Mieres (Spain)
Ahmad Abbasnezhad Alchin 0000-0001-9198-8875
University of Tehran, Tehran (Iran)

Corresponding author

Sajad Ghanbari


Ghanbari S, Sefidi K, Álvarez-Álvarez P, Fathizadeh O, Abbasnezhad Alchin A (2023). Effects of silvicultural thinning on stand structure and coarse woody debris in the deciduous Arasbaran forest, Iran. iForest 16: 377-384. - doi: 10.3832/ifor4312-016

Academic Editor

Giorgio Alberti

Paper history

Received: Jan 19, 2023
Accepted: Oct 15, 2023

First online: Dec 19, 2023
Publication Date: Dec 31, 2023
Publication Time: 2.17 months

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