; ; ; ; ;
1 Landscape Architecture and Planning, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet 2 University of Kurdistan 3 Department of Forestry, University of Tehran 4 Department of Forest and Soil Sciences, University of BOKU 5 University of Kurdistan 6 Landscape Architecture and Planning, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
Oak forests of Iran are managed for soil conservation, water quality and other non-market ecosystem services. Nationalization policies in 1963 implied shifts from private ownership and informal traditional management to public ownership and state forest management. In spite of the nationalization, informal practices and conventional ownership have been continued which has caused considerable conflicts between local people and the state forest administration. The aim of the study was to systematically gather the components of traditional silvopastoral management in these oak forests and to investigate the effects of these practices on forest stand structure. To understand how the traditional forest management system works, empirical survey methods, in particular face to face interviews and participation in traditional practices have been employed. In general, local livelihoods depend on three main components: animal husbandry, farming and forestry, which are all spatially interrelated in the territories of individual families. Silvopastoral management is based on a well-developed foundation of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) which has been shaped over time and conducted for sustainable utilization of oak forests in northern Zagros. Forest regulation and tree characteristics were developed under traditional rules to provide fodder using a set of practices, including pollarding of oak trees as an essential feature of traditional land use in northern Zagros. The impacts of traditional forest management on forest structure, regeneration and composition were investigated by comparing pollarded stands with adjacent undisturbed reference sites. Our analyses show lower woody species richness in managed stands than at reference sites. Stand structure is affected by traditional practices in regard to stand density, stocking, crown cover percentage, diameter distribution type and spacing. Regeneration failure due to heavy livestock browsing is considered the main weakness of the system. We conclude that respectful conventional regulations and customs can provide bedrock to conservation of the forest area. In this regard the role of traditional forest management and community-based approaches should be acknowledged to encourage public participation for sustainable forest management. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Forest Ecology and Management, 2014, Vol 327, p. 221-230
Forest regulation; Pollarding; Quercus; Silvopastoralism; Traditional ecological knowledge
Main Research Area: