Analysing land cover changes for understanding of forest dynamics using temporal forest management plans

Kadiogullari A. İ. , Sayin M. A. , ÇELİK D. A. , Borucu S., Cil B., Bulut S.

ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, vol.186, no.4, pp.2089-2110, 2014 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 186 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10661-013-3520-9
  • Page Numbers: pp.2089-2110


This study analyses forest dynamics and land use/land cover change over a 43-year period using spatial-stand-type maps of temporal forest management plans of KaraisalA +/- Forest Enterprise in the Eastern Mediterranean Region of Turkey. Stand parameters (tree species, crown closures and developmental stages) of the dynamics and changes caused by natural or artificial intervention were introduced and mapped in a Geographic Information System (GIS) and subjected to fragmentation analysis using FRAGSTATS. The KaraisalA +/- Forest Enterprise was first planned in 1969 and then the study area was planned under the Mediterranean Forest Use project in 1991 and five-term forest management plans were made. In this study, we analysed only four periods (excluding 1982 revision plans): 1969, 1991, 2002 and 2012. Between 1969 and 2012, overall changes included a net increase of 3,026 ha in forested areas. Cumulative forest improvement accounted for 2.12 % and the annual rate of total forest improvement averaged 0.08 %. In addition, productive forest areas increased from 36,174 to 70,205 ha between 1969 and 2012. This translates into an average annual productive forest improvement rate of 1.54 %. At the same time, fully covered forest areas with crown closure of "3" (> 70 %) increased about 21,321 ha, and young forest areas in developmental stage of "a" (diameter at breast height (dbh) < 8 cm) increased from 716 to 13,305 ha over the 43-year study period. Overall changes show that productive and fully covered forest areas have increased egregiously with a focus on regenerated and young developmental stages. A spatial analysis of metrics over the 43-year study period indicated a more fragmented landscape resulting in a susceptible forest to harsh disturbances.