Understanding the historical dynamics, composition, and environmental disturbances of forest landscapes provides a context for monitoring changes, describing trends, and establishing reference conditions. This study analyses the temporal changes in forest ecosystem structure in Artvin Forest Planning Unit (AFPU), Turkey, during 1972-2002 period based on digitized forest stand type maps using geographic information system (GIS) and interpretation of satellite data. The results showed that there was a net decrease of 450 ha in total forested areas between 1972 and 2002. Forest ecosystem structure changed over time depending on a few factors such as demographic movements, insect outbreaks, dam and road construction, unregulated management actions, and social pressure. In conclusion, temporal changes and the factors affecting these changes should be determined for sustainable management of natural resources.