Ahırdağı is located in the southwest of Afyonkarahisar province
bordered by Sinanpaşa and Hocalar districts. The study area is surrounded
by the Akdağ and Kumalar mountains in the south, Murat mountain in the
north with Afyon Kocatepe National Park in the east. The area is also an intersection
zone of the Mediterranean, the Irano-Turanian and the Euro-Siberian phytogeographic
regions. According to the grid square system, the south part of Hocalar is located
in square B2 and the other part in B3. The lowest elevation point is 800 m in
the vicinity of Hocalar, while the highest altitude point is Büyükkavuşak
hill (Fig. 1) peaking at 2000 m.
|| Location map of study area
The region chosen as study area shows intersectional features. Widely extended
forests consist of Pinus nigra J.F. Arnold subsp. nigra var. caramanica
(Loudon) Rehder trees which are sturdy and 20-25 m tall and grow in the
vicinity of Çataloluk and Karapınar and south of Yağcı,
Yürükmezarı, Çobanözü villages. The Tazlar village
area hosts a community of monumental trees, P. nigra subsp. nigra
var. caramanica which makes it a popular picnic area. In the places where
P. nigra subsp. nigra var. caramanica have been damaged by
biotic factors, community formations of Quercus cerris L. var. cerris
and Cistus laurifolius L. are evident. In addition a section of Çataloluk
district hosts Cedrus libani A. Rich. and Pinus sylvestris L.
var. hamata Steven plantation area, where the plants reach up to 10-12
m in height. The local microclimate is not limited only to the northern slopes
of Fındıklı and Güvercinlik hills but is also evident in
the environs of Tahtalık and Merdivenkaya streams. These areas contain
a considerable amount of Euro-Siberian elements. The plants include Corylus
avellana L. var. avellana, Pyracantha coccinea Roem., Populus
tremula L., Cornus sanguinea L. subsp. australis (C. A. Mey.)
Jav., Tilia rubra DC. subsp. caucasica (Rupr.) V. Engl., Acer
platanoides L., Euonymus latifolius (L.) Mill. subsp. latifolius,
Viburnum opulus L., V. lantana L., Sambucus nigra L., S.
ebulus L., Salix alba L. There are loose communities of Pinus
brutia L. at the southern part of the research region located at el 800-1000
m of Kocaada hill. There are some Artemisia campestris L. communities
in the northern part of the research region: in the environs of Tokuşlar,
Çobanözü and Çayhisar villages, the regions where Tahtalık
and Merdivenkaya streams reach the plain and in the gravelly and sandy areas.
These regions also form the starting point of Akarçay Basin which is
80 km in length and descends to Eber Lake.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The vegetation in the study area was investigated in accordance with the Braun-Blanquet (1964) Method. Sample plots were taken from each plant formation in sufficient number and suitable size to enable determination of plant association. Thus, the floristic composition of the associations, dominance and consistence of the species were determined. Soil samples were taken from various sample plots to represent the different plant formations. These soil samples were analyzed by the Soil and Fertilizer Research Institute. The methods of Bouyoucos (1962), Black et al. (1965) and Smith and Weldon (1941) were used to analyze the soil samples. The results of the soil analyses shown in Table 1 give comparative details about the soils where the plant associations have developed. The facts pertinent to the geology of the research area have been established with the aid of a 1/500,000 scale map. The distributions of the associations in the investigation area and their brief ecologies are given in the vegetation section. The floristic composition and structure of plant associations exhibiting a certain appearance was established and they were identified and classified by the aid of differential, dominant and constant species Weber et al. (2000). The flora of Turkey was used in specimen identification (Davis, 1965-1985, 1988; Güner et al., 2000). In order to compare associations, we used Sorensens index of similarity. Author abbreviations follow Brummitt and Powell (1992). The climatic data for the area was obtained from Anonymous (2000). The climatic data are given in Table 2a and b. The study area has a Mediterranean climate and its precipitation regime is East Mediterranean Type 2 SWAS (spring, winter, autumn, summer) (Akman, 1982).
Vegetation: The vegetation of Ahırdağı belongs to both the Supra-Mediterranean belt and Mediterranean mountain belt. Three vegetation formations were observed in the study area: a) forest vegetation mainly consisting of P. nigra subsp. nigra var. caramanica and Q. cerris var. cerris; b) Shrub vegetation and thorn-cushion vegetation.
Forest vegetation: Forests of P. nigra subsp. nigra var. caramanica and Q. cerris var. cerris prevail in the area. These forests grow on Hisar hill, Güvercinlik hill, Kartalpınarı hill, Asar hill and Ardıçlı hill. P. nigra subsp. nigra var. caramanica is usually intermingled with C. laurifolius, Juniperus oxycedrus L. subsp. oxycedrus, Q. cerris var. cerris and P. tremula in the area.
Ferulagini macrosciadiae-Pinetum caramanicae ass. Kargıoğlu: This community, which is widely distributed in Turkey, is widespread in the subject area between the altitudes 1340-1600 m, on 10-40% inclined slopes. P. nigra subsp. nigra var. caramanica, the basic constituent of the association, forms an expansive cover on the Mediterranean mountain layer. The other characteristic species of the association are Astragalus baibutensis Bunge and Ferulago macrosciadia Boiss. et Bal. This association sampled in ten plots, grows on calcareous bedrock and brown forest soils. Results of the physical and chemical analysis of the soils of the related associations are given in Table 1. This soil has a loamy and sandy-loamy structure, pH 7.9-8.1 and contains organic matter between 2.1-4.6%.
Ferulagini macrosciadiae-Pinetum caramanicae association is composed
of three vegetation layers; trees, shrubs and herbaceous layers. In addition
to featuring the dominant species of the tree layer, P. nigra subsp.
nigra var. caramanica also remains the characteristic plant distinguishing
the association. The general cover of the tree layer ranges from 80 to 100%
and heights range from 15 to 20 m.
|| Data of the physical and chemical analysis of the soils from
the associations' plots
|C: Clayey, L: Loamy, S: Sandy
|| Average and extreme climatic values of Afyonkarahisar from
1928 to 2000
|| Seasonal distribution of rainfall values of Afyonkarahisar
from 1928 to 2000
The shrub stratum is comprised of a species of C. laurifolius and
J. oxycedrus subsp. oxycedrus. C. laurifolius, 0.5-1
m in height and covering 5 and 10% of the vegetation; they are also the dominant
species of the shrub layer. The general cover of the herb layer is between 30-60%,
20-35 cm in height (Table 3).
Characteristic species of the alliances Pino-Cistion laurifolii and Carpino-Acerion of the order Querco-Cedretalia libani and class Quercetea pubescentis were observed in this association.
Sample plots for the table were made on Ardıçlı, Asar, Güvercinlik and Fındıklı hills.
Quadrant no: locality and date:
30-33: Ardıçlı hill and Fındıklı hill, 16.07.1998.
34-37: Asar hill, 16.07.1998.
38-39: Güvercinlik hill, 16.07.1998.
Holotype: Table 3, quadrant no: 32
Quercetum vulcanicae-cerridis ass. Kargıoğlu: This association develops on calcareous bedrock and brown forest soils. Physical and chemical properties of the related soils are given in Table 1. This soil has a loamy, sandy-loamy and sandy-clayey-loamy structure, pH 5.6-6.0 and organic matter between 0.7-3.8%. This plant association has been described in eleven sample quadrants.
Structurally, the association is composed of three strata. In addition to being the dominant species of the tree layer, Q. cerris var. cerris and Q. vulcanica (Boiss. et Heldr. ex) Kotschy appear to be the community's typical and distinguishing species. The tree stratum varies between 6-10 m in height and generally covers 80-90%.
The shrub stratum is comprised of the species of C. laurifolius and J. oxycedrus subsp. oxycedrus. C. laurifolius, they are 1-1.5 m in height and cover 20 and 40% of the vegetation in addition to being the dominant species of the shrub layer. The herb layer consists of herbaceous plants, with heights ranging from 30 to 60 cm and generally cover 30 to 60% (Table 4).
In the association, the class Quercetea pubescentis the order Querco-Cedretalia libani and the alliance Carpino-Acerion are represented by many species. Therefore, this association is placed into the above mentioned upper divisions.
Sample plots of the table were established on Hisar hill and Karataş hill.
Quadrant no: Locality and date:
13-14: Hisar hill, 14.07.1998.
16, 19-20, 23: Karataş hill, 14.07.1998.
Holotype: Table 4, quadrant no: 13
|| Ferulagini macrosciadiae-Pinetum caramanicae ass.,
Type: Quadrat 32
|I = Species is present in the 1-20% of sample plots, II =
Species is present in the 20-40% of sample plots, III = Species is present
in the 40-60% of sample plots, IV = Species is present in the 60-80% of
sample plots, V = Species is present in the 80-100% of sample plots. +
= Covering degree is very low in the sample plots of species. .
= This species is not present in the sample plots
|| Quercetum vulcanicae-cerridis ass., Type: Quadrat
Stachyo tmoleae- Cistetum laurifolii ass. Kargıoğlu:
The association spreads at altitudes between 1300-1510 m, on calcareous bedrock,
with an inclination of 10-40%. It develops on relatively shallow brown forest
soils. Results of physical and chemical analysis are given in Table
1. The soil has a loamy and sandy-loamy structure, pH 6.0-8.3 and organic
matter between 0.5-3.0%.
Comprised of the shrub and herb layers, this community has been described on
twelve sample quadrants. In addition to being the dominant species of the shrub
layer, C. laurifolius is also the distinguishing and typical species
of the association. The shrub layer varies between 150-180 cm in height and
comprises 80-100% of the vegetation cover. The herb layer is 40-60 cm in height,
with a cover of 5-80% (Table 5). C. laurifolius and
Stachys tmolea Boiss. are characteristic and the distinctive species
of the association. P. nigra subsp. nigra var. caramanica
and Q. cerris var. cerris are included in this association. The
association consists of the class Quercetea pubescentis, the order Querco-Cedretalia
libani, the alliance Carpino-Acerion and are represented by numerous
Sample plots were selected in the vicinity of Hisar hill, environs of Ortadere stream, Ardıçlı hill and Güvercinlik hill.
Quadrant no: Locality and date:
2: Hisar hill, 28.06.1998.
3-6: Ardıçlı hill, 28.06.1998.
7-8: Güvercinlik hill, 28.06.1998.
9-10, 12: Environs of Ortadere stream, 14.07.1998.
Holotype: Table 5, quadrant no: 2
Euphorbio seguierianae-Astragaletum microcephali ass. Kargıoğlu: This association thrives on calcareous bedrock and brown forest soils, with an inclination of 10-40%. Results of physical and chemical analysis of the soils from the habitat are given in Table 1. This soil has a sandy-loamy structure, pH 7.7-7.8 and organic matter between 1.9-3.2%. Spreading in places at altitudes of 1660-1760 m, the association has been described in eleven sample quadrants.
Reaching heights of 30-60 cm, the association formed by the semi-shrub
Astragalus microcephalus Willd., A. angustifolius Lam. subsp.
angustifolius var. angustifolius and Acantholimon puberulum Boiss.
et Bal. subsp. puberulum holds a vegetation cover of 70-90% (Table
|| Stachyo tmoleae-Cistetum laurifolii ass., Type: Quadrat
|| Euphorbio seguierianae-Astragaletum microcephali ass.,
Type: Quadrat 44
Typical and distinguishing species of the association are A. microcephalus,
A. angustifolius subsp. angustifolius var. angustifolius,
A. puberulum var. puberulum and Euphorbia seguieriana Neck.
subsp. seguieriana. Characteristic species of the order Onobrychido-Thymetalia
leucostomi, class Astragalo-Brometea, maintain the majority in this
Sample plots for the table were established on Büyükkavuşak hill and Büyükhacet hill.
Quadrant no: Locality and date:
40-46: Büyükkavuşak hill, 16.07.1998.
47-50: Büyükhacet hill, 16.07.1998.
Holotype: Table 6, quadrant no: 44
In the study area, four plant associations consisting of forest, shrub and thorn-cushion vegetation types have been determined. Two of these belong to forest, one to shrub and one to thorn-cushion vegetation. The high elevation regions of the research area host thorn-cushion vegetation and at elevation 1200-1700 m P. nigra subsp. nigra var. caramanica communities occur. However, Q. cerris var. cerris ve C. laurifolius plant communities have become dominant in areas where P. nigra subsp. nigra var. caramanica communities have been destroyed by anthropogenic effects.
Ferulagini macrosciadiae-Pinetum caramanicae ass. Kargıoğlu: Covering a major part of the study area, forests of P. nigra subsp. nigra var. caramanica occur frequently. Akman et al. (1978) have phytosociologically categorized Turkeys P. nigra subsp. nigra var. caramanica forests in Querco-Carpinetalia orientalis Quézel, Barbéro and Akman (1980) and Querco-Cedretalia libani orders into: a) P. nigra subsp. nigra var. caramanica forests of northwestern Anatolia, b) of western Anatolia, c) of Amanos and Taurus mountains in southern Anatolia.
P. nigra subsp. nigra var. caramanica forests grow in the Taurus mountains, which has a highly varied precipitation rate. These forests grow not only in areas with 1000 mm or even 1500 mm of precipitation but also on the slopes facing inner Anatolia, where precipitation may not exceed 400-500 mm (Akman et al., 1979).
In the study area, they thrive on land with mean annual precipitation ranging from 435.1 to 930 mm. That is to say, they start in places where little or moderate precipitation and cold or very cold Mediterranean climate types prevail.
The P. nigra subsp. nigra var. caramanica forest of the
research area is one of the best developing P. nigra subsp. nigra
var. caramanica forests on the Afyonkarahisar boundary. Yet this
forest gives way to Q. cerris var. cerris and C. laurifolius
communities because of fires in some areas of the research area and some
kind of anthropogenic effects. Under the forest canopy and in the glades, there
are two common shrub species, C. laurifolius and J. oxycedrus
subsp. oxycedrus. Quézel et al. (1978) placed P. nigra
subsp. nigra var. caramanica forests, on the basis of their sundry
floristic structures, into two orders of class Quercetea pubescentis.
These orders are Querco-Cedretalia libani and Querco-Carpinetalia
orientalis. According to them (Akman et al., 1978), while P. nigra
subsp. nigra var. caramanica forests in northern west Anatolia
are included in the order of Querco-Carpinetalia orientalis, those in
the Taurus mountains fall into the order of Querco-Cedretalia libani.
Likewise, in the association that we have described, the order of Querco-Cedretalia
libani has been placed into the above mentioned upper divisions since it
includes a considerable amount of characteristic species from class Quercetea
The association of P. nigra subsp. nigra var. caramanica has been described in many locations in Turkey by various researchers. Areas close to our study area like Sultan mountains and Maden district of Seydişehir (Ocakverdi and Çetik, 1982, 1987), Afyon Başkomutanlık National Park (Vural et al., 1985), on Barla (Bekat, 1987) and Akdağ (Gemici, 1988) mountains and The East Region of Dedegöl (Anamas) Mountain and Kurucuova-Yeşildağ (Serin, 1996) have been sampled.
Quercetum vulcanicae-cerridis ass. Kargıoğlu: Q. cerris var. cerris is one of the most widespread species of the 18 oak species that are naturally spread in Turkey. This species can be observed starting from sea level and continuing until 1500-1900 m elevation. In the area, the association of Q. cerris var. cerris, adjacent to populated localities, has lost its normal floristic composition due to an intensive anthropogenic influence. Therefore, the ground flora is composed, to a large extent, of steppe plants of various upper divisions.
In nearby regions, this association has been described on Hasan mountain (Düzenli, 1976), Erciyes mountain (Çetik, 1981), Sultan mountains (Ocakverdi and Çetik, 1982) and Afyon Başkomutan Milli Parkı (Vural et al., 1985), Sündiken Mountains (Ekim and Akman, 1991). In the association we have distinguished that dominant and characteristic species from the alliance of Carpino-Acerion, order Querco-Cedretalia libani and class Quercetea pubescentis, are widespread. As a result the association has been inserted into the above named alliance, class and order. This association which is also determined in the vicinity of our research region, is included into the Querco-Cedretalia libani order, on Sultan mountains, whereas in Afyon Kocatepe National Park and on Sündiken Mountains it is included into Querco-Carpinetalia orientalis order due to the dominant species that are represented within. While this community is included into the Carpino-Acerion alliance according to the alliance classification on Sultan mountains, it is not included into any alliance elsewhere.
Quercus vulcanica which is a characteristic and distinguished species of the alliance, does not have a large spreading, but forms communities on Türkmendağı, Karadağ, Kovado-Gökbelenköy, Kumalar Mountain and Sultan Mountains (Ekim and Akman, 1991; Kurt et al., 1996; Kargıoğlu, 2001; Ünal, 1991). However, it has formed major communities in the environs of Sultan mountains and Kovado-Gökbelenköy areas. The total area of kasnak oak in Turkey is 10-12 thousand hectars. An association (Diantho cibrarii-Quercetum vulcanicae) similar to ours was sampled by Kurt et al. (1996) at Gökbelenköy-Isparta. At the time it was situated in the order Querco-Cedretalia libani, class Quercetea pubescentis.
Stachyo tmoleae-Cistetum laurifolii ass. Kargıoğlu: Communities of C. laurifolius usually emerge in transition belts from inner Anatolia region to Marmara, Aegean and Mediterranean regions, as a result of large scale destruction of P. nigra subsp. nigra var. caramanica (Ocakverdi and Çetik, 1982; Vural et al., 1985; Gemici, 1988; Çetik and Vural, 1979). In the association we have distinguished that dominant and characteristic species from the alliance of Carpino-Acerion, order Querco-Cedretalia libani and class Quercetea pubescentis are widespread. As a result, the association has been inserted into the above named alliance, class and order.
C. laurifolius association was first sampled in Ayaş mountains (Akman and Ketenoğlu, 1976). In the neighbouring regions, it has been determined on Köroğlubeli (Çetik and Vural, 1979), in Afyon Başkomutan National Park (Vural et al., 1985), in Sultan mountains (Ocakverdi and Çetik, 1982), on Kızılören, Çal and Loras mountains (Tatlı et al., 1994) and on Akdağ (Gemici, 1988). This association which was also determined near our research region, has been included to the Querco-Cedretalia libani order on Sultan mountains, whereas in Afyon Kocatepe National Park and on Akdağ Mountains it has been included into the Querco-Carpinetalia orientalis order due to the dominant species represented within. While this community has been included to Pino-Cistion laurifolii Quézel, Barbéro and Akman (1977) alliance in accordance with the alliance classification in Afyon Kocatepe National Park, the community determined on Akdağ Mountains has been included into the Carpino-Acerion alliance.
The percentage of similarities in the defined floristic compositions of described alliances in areas near our study area are; for P. nigra subsp. nigra var. caramanica: in Başkomutan Milli Parkı 37.0%, in Akdağ 29.1%. in Sultan mountains 25.4 and 18.2% in Barla mountain and for Q. cerris var. cerris: 31.2% in Başkomutan Milli Parkı and 20.3% in Sultan mountains; for C. laurifolius: 32.3% in Başkomutan Milli Parkı, 31.1% in Akdağ, 22.1% in Sultan mountains and 20.2% on Köroğlu Beli.
It is evident that the ratio of similarities described for Başkomutan Milli Park, which is closest to our study area, has the highest ratio of similar alliances described in our study. This can be explained by the similarities of the ecological specifics of regions in a close geographical location.
Euphorbio seguierianae-Astragaletum microcephali ass. Kargıoğlu:
This association forms large communities at Buyuk Hacettepe and Buyuk Kavusak
Hills which have the highest elevations of the research area. The Astragalus
community spreading across our research regions upper forest boundary
was defined by Çetik for the first time in Turkey (Çetik, 1963).
It was defined again by Akman and Ketenolu (1976), Düzenli (1976) and
K2l2nç (1985), respectively. At the same time this association is defined
as a sub association in Thymo longicaulis-Astragaletum flavescentis association
that represents the steppe and spreads in Afyon Kocatepe National Park in the
environs of our research area. Kurt (2002) described a similar alliance in Emirda,
which is in close proximity to our study area. At the time, it was situated
in the alliance Phlomido nissolii-Onobrychidion tournefortii Kurt all.
nova 2002, from the order Onobrychido-Thymetalia leucostomi, class Astragalo-Brometea.
In the association we have distinguished dominant and characteristic species
from the alliance of Phlomido-Astragalion microcephali, order Onobrychido-Thymetalia
leucostomi and class Astragalo-Brometea are widespread. That is why the association
has been inserted into the above named alliance, class and order.