Sivrikaya F., Cakir G., KELEŞ S., Baskent E. Z.

GEOINFORMATICS FOR NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT, pp.215-247, 2009 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Page Numbers: pp.215-247


Land use/land cover change (LULCC) is regarded as the most important variable of global change affecting ecological systems with an impact on natural resources including soil and water quality, global climatic system and biodiversity. Quantification of landscape patterns through various landscape metrics can be used to describe whether the landscape pattern is changing and how, and this information may then be used to evaluate alternative ecosystem management activities and environmental conservation strategies. To analyze the spatial and temporal pattern of land use/land cover change in a forest planning unit, Bulanikdere, northwestern corner of Turkey, was selected as a case study area. The main data used in this research are forest cover type maps at 1/25 000 scale for years 1985 and 2003, their inventory data, two Landsat satellite image acquired for the years 1987 (TM), and 2000 (ETM+). Landsat TM (1987) and Landsat ETM+ (2000). The spatial and temporal analysis of the forest structure was carried out in a systematic process. First of all, the stand type maps 1985 and 2003 were digitized, rectified and the spatial database was build with ArcGIS 8.3 (TM). Second, Landsat TM and ETM+ images of 1987 and 2000 were rectified and classified to create land use/land cover type maps. Third, spatial and temporal land use/land cover changes as well as transition of cover types were analyzed with GIS. Fourth, the fragmentation of the areas was evaluated with FRAGSTATS (TM). Last, spatially explicit estimates of the carbon storage (aboveground and belowground) was determined and mapped with GIS according to inventory data for years 1985 and 2003. When both approaches were evaluated together, between 1985 and 2003 years, forest areas decreased from 7432.9 ha to 7351.5 ha according to stand type maps from management plans. On the contrary, between 1987 and 2000 years, forest areas increased from 7049,4 ha to 7456,7 ha according to land cover type maps from the classified images of Landsat TM and ETM+. During the whole study period, the average annual deforestation rate based on stand type map was 5 ha year(-1), equivalent to 0.06% year(-1) using the compound-interest-rate formula. Landscape analysis indicate that the forest landscape has been gradually fragmented and thus subjected to susceptibility of the area to further abrupt changes ill the future. It was estimated that forest ecosystems in Bulanikdere forest planning unit contain 304 264.3 tons of carbon above and below the ground according to the methodology used in this article in 1985. Though 263 895.9 tons of whole carbon storages in forest ecosystem are aboveground, the rest (40 368.4 tons) are belowground. However, it was estimated that forest ecosystems contain 510 030.1 tons of carbon with 443 032.5 tons aboveground and 66 997.6 tons of carbon belowground in 2003. As shown, carbon storages increased 205 765.8 tons during an 18 year period. There were apparent trends in the temporal structure of forest landscape, some of which may issue from unregulated management activities, social conflict and demographic movement. The study revealed that it is important to understand both spatial and temporal changes of land use/land cover and their effects on landscape pattern to release the implications for landscape planning and ecosystem management.