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Analysis of the changes in forest ecosystem functions, structure and composition in the Black Sea region of Turkey

Keleş, Sedat, Durusoy, İdris, Çakir, Günay
Journal of forestry research 2017 v.28 no.2 pp. 329-342
age structure, agricultural land, biomass, case studies, coppicing, ecological function, economic valuation, forest damage, forest ecosystems, forest management, forest types, geographic information systems, land use, planning, stand age, sustainable development, temporal variation, trees, Black Sea, Turkey (country)
We used geographical information system to analyze changes in forest ecosystem functions, structure and composition in a typical department of forest management area consisting of four forest management planning units in Turkey. To assess these effects over a 25 year period we compiled data from three forest management plans that were made in 1986, 2001 and 2011. Temporal changes in forest ecosystem functions were estimated based on the three pillars of forest sustainability: economics, ecology and socio-culture. We assessed a few indicators such as land-use and forest cover, forest types, tree species, development stage, stand age classes, crown closure, growing stock and its increment, and timber biomass. The results of the case study suggested a shift in forest values away from economic values toward ecological and socio-cultural values over last two planning periods. Forest ecosystem structure improved, due mainly to increasing forest area, decreasing non-forest areas (especially in settlement and agricultural areas), forestation on forest openings, rehabilitation of degraded forests, conversion of even-aged forests to uneven-aged forests and conversion of coppice forests to high forests with greater growing stock increments. There were also favorable changes in forest management planning approaches.