Classification and mapping forest sites using geographic information system (GIS): a case study in Artvin Province

Altun L., Baskent E. Z., Gunlu A., Kadiogullari A. İ.

ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, vol.137, pp.149-161, 2008 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


The productivity of forest sites has been indirectly determined with solo wood production objective in forest management. Forest site productivity should, however, be determined directly in order to implement ecosystem based multipurpose forest management philosophy. This article tackles the problem in distinguishing and mapping forest sites using both direct method and indirect method in Genya Mountain located in central of Artvin State Forest Enterprise. About 112 sample plots were designed and distributed over the area. In each sample plot, soil samples were collected and the classical timber inventory measurements were taken. According to direct method, Soil Moisture Regime (SMR) method is preferred due to a water deficiency in the study area. Water holding capacity was used as an essential criterion for the classification of the forest site. Forest site classifications were assigned regarding the physiographic factors such as landform, aspect, and slope. Five different forest sites classes; dry, moderate fresh, fresh, humid and hygric were determined. According to direct method, the guiding curve was used to generate anamorphic site index (SI) equations and three site index classes; good (SI=I-II), medium (SI=III) and low (SI=IV-V) were determined. Some important differences between the methods were realized. The forest sites determined with site index estimation method indicate that site index I and II is 505.99 ha, III 1095.79 ha and IV and V 992.95 ha, whereas forest sites determined with direct method related to dry site of 937.58 ha, moderate fresh site of 931.90 ha, fresh site of 1,797.71 ha, humid site of 80.48 ha and hygric site of 356.55 ha. The forest site maps of both methods were created using GIS functions. The forest sites of open and degraded areas should be determined according to direct method.