Shrub specific diversity and spatial distribution in the cork oak forestof Ain Snoussi, Tunisia


Abstract: Given the current degradation state of the cork oak forest ecosystem, plant coverrestoration must be ensured by an appropriate space management. This requires a database onnatural resources potential, which has been hardly evaluated in Tunisia. This study focused on thespatial distribution and biodiversity of shrubs in the Ain Snoussi forest, located in northwesternTunisia. Transects combined with the nearest-neighbour-distance method was used. Indeed, sixrepresentative plots were selected and two orthogonal transects of 50m installed in each one. Ineach transect, 50 observation points were fit, all 1m apart. From each observation point, distanceto the nearest shrub was measured as well as morphologic parameters of the plant. In overall theforest, maximum species richness was 5, Shannon index (1.44) and Piélou’index (~1) indicated alow species diversity with similar relative abundance, and Berger-Parker index (0.36) a slightdominance of Erica arborea. Mean plant density was equal to 8692 plants/ha and shrubphytovolume reached 8277, 52m3/ha.

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