Assessing vulnerability of a forest ecosystem to climate change and variability in the western Mediterranean sub-region of Turkey

Özcan O., Musaoğlu N., Turkes M.

JOURNAL OF FORESTRY RESEARCH, vol.29, no.3, pp.709-725, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11676-017-0505-5
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.709-725
  • Keywords: Mediterranean climate, Forest ecosystem, Land degradation, Vulnerability analysis, CHANGE IMPACTS, BASIN, ENVIRONMENT, ACCURACY, SCALE, RISK
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Climate change is a real, pressing and significant global problem. The concept of 'climate change vulnerability' helps us to better comprehend the cause/effect relationships behind climate change and its impact on human societies, socioeconomic sectors, and physiographical and ecological systems. In this study, multifactorial spatial modelling evaluated the vulnerability of a Mediterranean forest ecosystem to climate change and variability with regard to land degradation. This produced data and developed tools to support better decision-making and management. As a result, the geographical distribution of Environmental Vulnerability Areas (EVAs) of the forest ecosystem is the estimated Environmental Vulnerability Index (EVI) values. These revealed that, at current levels of environmental degradation, physical, geographical, policy enforcement, and socioeconomic conditions, the area with a "very low" degree of vulnerability covered mainly the town, its surrounding settlements and agricultural lands found principally over the low, flat travertine plateau and the plains to the east and southeast of the district. The spatial magnitude of the EVAs of the forest ecosystem under current environmental degradation was also determined. This revealed that the EVAs classed as "very low" accounted for 21% of the area of the forest ecosystem, those classed as "low" for 36%, those classed as "medium" for 20%, and those classed as "high" for 24%.