The spatiotemporal forest cover changes in Koprulu Canyon National Park (1965-2008) in Turkey

KARAHALİL U. , Kadiogullari A. I. , Baskent E. Z. , Koese S.

AFRICAN JOURNAL OF BIOTECHNOLOGY, vol.8, no.18, pp.4495-4507, 2009 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 18
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Page Numbers: pp.4495-4507


Analyzing the historical legacy of forest structure and its temporal changes is paramount to design future forest management interventions in preparing an effective forest management plan in national parks. In this study, forest cover type maps prepared in 1965, 1984 and 2008 were digitized using geographic information systems and spatial database was built for nearly 36000 ha Koprulu Canyon National Park. Spatial data bases for three periods were used to determine temporal and spatial (number, size and spatial distributions of patches) changes of forest resources using FRAGSTATS (TM) program. The results indicated clear changes in the temporal and spatial dynamics of land cover/forest cover. Mixed forests increased about 151.7% (1570.7 ha) like agricultural and urban areas 39.8% (777.5 ha) and productive forests (crown closure > 10%) increased 21.9% (2838.8 ha) too, while other open lands decreased about 27.5% (1326.3 ha) and 459 ha pure cedar stands entirely converted mostly to the degraded and mixed forests from 1965 to 2008. In terms of spatial configuration, analysis of the metrics revealed that landscape structure in study area has changed substantially over the 43-year study period, resulting in fragmentation of the landscape as the total number of patches increased from 238 to 672 and mean patch size drop from 1615.0 ha to 425.3 ha markedly between 1965 and 2008. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) coupled with fragmentation analysis has a powerful role in analyzing spatiotemporal dynamics of forest landscape for effective national park planning.