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Spatial Variability of Soil organic matter under

Different Mixed Beech Forest Type, Iran

Hashem Habashi

The organic matter content in forest soil depends on the soil conditions, the forest
cover (type and composition), topography, hydrological conditions, elevation and
management practices. The aim of this contribution was to describe spatial variability
of soil organic matter in mixed Hyranican beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky) forest, Iran
by means of geostatistics and to assess the effects of forest types. We selected 172
plots on mixed Hyrcanian beech forests by random grid. Data of forest stand include
species name, DBH, crown area, forest type and topographic situation were collected.
Soil sampling was conducted by auger sampler in 0-20 Cm depth. Soil organic matter
(%) determined by Walkly-Black method, Soil texture determined by Hydrometer
method, pH determined by electrical method and SP (%) determined by weighted
method. Soil organic matter showed a moderate spatial dependence due to variogram
range. Spatial dependency of soil organic matter was decreased by decreasing beech
trees GBH in forest types. Anisotropic variogram was used to spherical model and
kriged map of spatial variability of Soil organic matter was created. Logistic
regression showed soil organic matter was influenced by forest types. These results
emphasised the moderate spatial variability of soil organic matter. Spatial correlation
indicated that the soil organic matter is strongly affected by forest types. Significant
differences in soil organic matter between pure beech forest and mixed beech forest
were tested using ANOVA. Correlation analysis indicates that Soil organic matter
concentration is in general negatively correlated with sand percent and positively
correlated with clay percent and trees crown area.

Keywords: Soil organic matter; Spatial variability; Mixed beech;