عنوان مقاله [English]
Determining the suitable elevation for exotic tree species in north of Iran forest based on thermal indices
Background and objectives
Plant cover as a major element of natural ecosystems has high influence from climatic indices. In this regard many models and indices were produced with the aim of clarifying the relationship between climate and plant cover. The air temperature variations have a major role in management of plant cover distribution especially in humid region. The most studies about Plant cover in Iran were based on statistical methods and remote sensing technology and only monitor vegetation changes. So presentation of climatic indices for prediction of natural plant cover is necessary. The aim of this study is evaluation and introduction of most suitable climatic thermal index and use of this for prediction the appropriate elevation for exotic species cultivation especially conifers in north of Iran forests.
Materials and methods
In the first step, three indices of WI (Warmth Index), BWI (Biological Warmth Index) and EWI (Effective Warmth Index) were calculated based on monthly mean temperature data of 34 north strip synoptic stations of Iran in decade of (2005-2014). Variation of indices with elevation was achieved as altitudinal gradient relations and the variation map of them was drawn. In second step to investigate the efficiency of calculated indices in determination the plant cover distribution, the study region was smaller and limited to educational and research Kheirud forest. In this stage the forest type’s distribution maps of Kheirud was collected and compared with indices predicted plant cover distribution maps.
In this research, some new thermal indices with plant and tree cover distribution in Golestan, Mazandaran and Gilan provinces have been comparatively studied and predicted tree cover by these indices was compared with available map of Habitats forest types of Patom and Baharbon. With respect to recorded species of the region, all of the indices present good predictions for the plant cover of the region under study. The results of statistical analysis showed that effective warmth index (EWI) with highest correlation (R2=0.964) and a lowest error value (RMSE=3.87 ) is the best indicator for estimation the plant cover of the region. This index by considering both range and average of the annual temperature presents the most accurate prediction (better differentiation) for plant cover especially in region that their WI index is similar. As well, the changes of indices with elevation were studied and related regression equation was presented. Furthermore suitable height in terms of temperature conditions was proposed for exotic species that have thermal potential for importing to the north of Iran forests.
Predicted plant cover by EWI index has more overlapping with north of Iran plant cover in compare to other two indices. Furthermore with lower error in estimation the elevation of boundary variation has more accurate prediction. With respect to the passage of 5 decades from entering coniferous species in northern forests and cultivation of them in various elevation and The failure of most forest cultivation that conducted on the average height of less than 900 meters above sea level, Based on this study proposed that in future forestry the best elevation will estimated with respect to more suitable predicted elevation by EWI index.