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Plant Sociology numero 54 (1) S1

pag. 39-45: Juniperus drupacea Labill. stands in Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve, a pilot study for management guidelines

B. Douaihy1, P. Tarraf2 & J. Stephan2

1Faculty of Science III - Department of Earth and Life Science, Lebanese University, Tripoli, Lebanon.

2Faculty of Science II - Department of Earth and Life Science, Lebanese University, Fanar, Lebanon.

doi: 10.7338/pls2017541S1/06

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abstract

The Syrian juniper, Juniperus drupacea Labill has a very limited distribution and is facing severe fragmentation and dieback in Lebanon. The present investigation is a pilot study conducted in Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve in order to develop a plan for conservation and sustainable management of this species. A total of 106 individuals were studied from five areas. The correlations between environmental factors (altitude, exposition, and slope) as well as canopy density with the trees distribution, size and vitality were investigated. The most remarkable individuals were mainly found in Aarbi, the central karstic area in association with Quercus calliprinos Webb., Q. infectoria Oliv. and Pistacia palaestina Boiss. The statistical analysis showed that the optimum conditions for Juniperus drupacea growth is at middle altitudes, at western expositions with low slope and in relatively open forest. In short term, to manage and conserve this unique species, we can perform a selective cutting to i) eliminate infested trees and branches, ii) reduce the number of trees per unit area – reducing therefore the density of the canopy and distance between trees – in order to preserve the remarkable vitality of trees.

keywords

eco-geography, forest management, Juniperus drupacea Labill., Lebanon, phytoecology