Exploring the nexus of land use changes with afforestation and urbanization: A case study of Elmalar Forest Planning Unit in Turkey

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Bozali N.

BOSQUE (VALDIVIA. EN LÍNEA), vol.43, no.3, pp.321-328, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.4067/s0717-92002022000300323
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.321-328
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Monitoring and understanding of ecosystem dynamics is essential for sustainable management of forest ecosystems. This study investigates the effects of afforestation activities and population factors on spatio-temporal changes of forest ecosystems. Geographic Information System was used to assess temporal and spatial changes between 2002 and 2014 in the Elmalar forest planning unit, located around the eastern Mediterranean city of Kahramanmaraş, Turkey. The results indicated that total forest area increased by 2,279 hectares during the 12-year period with a 20 % cumulative improvement of the forested area. The increase in the productive and total forest areas can be attributed to the afforestation activities carried out in the study area. Notably, with the Green Belt Afforestation Project of GDF carried out in the Elmalar forest planning unit, 1,574 hectares of non-forest areas were afforested which contributed to an increase in total forest areas. Forest areas converted to non-forest area were less compared to forest increased. Increased population growth, internal migrations and resettlements within the study area are the primary reasons for expansion of residential areas, which lead to increased pressure on forest resources.