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The land productivity dynamics trend as a tool for land degradation assessment in a dryland ecosystem

Baskan, Oguz, Dengiz, Orhan, Demirag, İnciTuran
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2017 v.189 no.5 pp. 212
arid lands, biomass, ecosystem services, ecosystems, issues and policy, land degradation, land productivity, land use, remote sensing, soil, soil organic carbon, soil sampling, sustainable land management, vegetation, watersheds, Turkey (country)
The aim of this study was to produce a land productivity dynamic map of a degraded catchment located in dryland ecosystem via a land degradation assessment using three indicators, namely land use, land productivity, and soil organic carbon density. The study was conducted in the Mogan Catchment, Turkey, between 2000 and 2010. The study embraced the current trend for assessing ecosystem services over wide areas. For this purpose, satellite images were used to determine changes in land use and vegetation density. In addition, a total of 834 soil samples were collected from the surface soil in 2000 and 2010 to assess the soil organic carbon density. In more than 37% of the catchment area of approx. 37,100 ha, land productivity had declined, while about 43% of the catchment showed early signs of decline. Analysis of long-term changes and the conversion of levels of vegetative or standing biomass into land productivity dynamics (LPD) is only the first step. Current land management practices are contributing to serious, widespread land degradation, with only a very small area of the catchment showing a stable or increasing LPD for the period from 2000 to 2010. The implementation of land management policies and practices in order to achieve sustainable land management are urgently required.