Volume 4, Issue 4 (winter 2001)                   JWSS 2001, 4(4): 129-144 | Back to browse issues page

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Khajeddin S. Impacts of Habitat Slope on Plant from of Astracantha adscendens. JWSS. 2001; 4 (4) :129-144
URL: http://jstnar.iut.ac.ir/article-1-119-en.html
Abstract:   (29592 Views)

Astracantha adscendens is an endemic species in Iran growing on alpine and above alpine timberline habitats on the Zagross Mountain Range. These habitats are characterized by steep slopes, heavy snowfalls and long ice formation periods. The present study was carried out in Chelgerd, Bakhtiari, and Fereidan, Isfahan. Slopes, elevation above sea-level, and magnetic north azimuth were measured. The canopy cover was also measured along four radii in upward, downward, left and right directions. Regression analysis was performed for the measured values of plant and environmental factors.

The results revealed that the upward radius had a high negative correlation with slope changes while the downward radius showed no relationship with slope variations. The two left and right radii had a high and positive relationship with each other, both reducing in length as the slope steepness increased. Shrub volume decreases with increasing slope steepness. Plant shape was classified into seven groups using Sorenson similarity index and constructing the dendrogram. Snow pressure bends the stem toward the soil surface. Snow gliding pressure scratches stem and its base buds above the bent stem. Soil and debris move downward the slope as a result of snow gliding and rainfall runoff as well as wildlife and domestic animals. Snow gliding along with other natural factors have various effects on A. adscendens plant form which can be grouped under three categories: direct mechanical effect of snow, physiological effect of snow, and indirect effect of precipitation and wildlife. The environmental factors and plant physiological responses to them change the A. adscendens plant form from a funnel or ob-conical shape to a semi-funnel or semi ob-conical form.

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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Ggeneral
Received: 2008/01/9 | Published: 2001/01/15

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