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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 11  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 366 - 372

The Use of Principal Component Analysis in Studying Physical, Chemical and Biological Soil Properties in Southern Caspian Forests (North of Iran)

Yahya Kooch, Hamid Jalilvand, Mohammad Ali Bahmanyar and Mohammad Reza Pormajidian    

Abstract:

This research was conducted in Khanikan forests located in lowland of Mazandaran province (North of Iran). Eighteen profiles were dug and several chemical, physical and biological soil properties were investigated. The soil properties evaluated were soil pH, bulk density, saturation moisture content, electrical conductivity, organic carbon, total nitrogen, cation exchangeable capacity, available phosphorous, soil texture, calcium carbonate content, number and biomass of earthworms, litter carbon and litter nitrogen. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to identify the variation of soil properties. PCA, a technique which reduces the dimensionality of multivariate data by removing Interco relations among variables, has a number of useful applications in forest researches. The results showed significant relationships between some soil factors with PC1 and PC2 axes, also, among different soil factors, the distribution of forest types was most strongly controlled with some soil characteristics such as acidity, bulk density, texture, phosphorous, organic carbon, total nitrogen and cation exchangeable capacity.

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