Plant distribution-altitude and landform relationships in karstic sinkholes of Mediterranean region of Turkey

Ozkan K., Gulsoy S., Mert A., Ozturk M., Muys B.

JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY, vol.31, pp.51-60, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.51-60
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between the plant distribution and the altitude-shape-size characteristics of sinkholes, and the landform characteristics inside sinkholes in the Mediterranean region of Turkey Block kriging, Factor analysis, Cluster Analysis and Detrended Correspondence Analysis were performed. The sinkhole type and altitudinal zone were found to be the significant factors affecting the plant distribution. However, the sinkhole type was more important than the altitudinal zone. Hence, the sinkholes were first subdivided into groups according to types and then the groups were divided into subgroups according to the altitudinal zones. Consequently, 4 groups were defined; A-type sinkholes [1400-1550 m (A(1)), 1550-1700 m (A(2))] and B-type sinkholes [1400-1550 (B(1)), 1550-1700 m (B(2))]. The B-type was wider vertically and shorter horizontally than A-type sinkholes. Significant differences were found between the plant distribution and slope position inside the sinkholes. Plant distribution in the lower slopes was different from that in the flats and ridges in the B(1) sub-type of B-type. Plant distribution in B(2) subtype was different among the slope positions (ridge, middle slope, lower slope, and flat), Although distribution of plants is different in different pads (ridges, upper slope, middle slope, lower slope and basal flats) of A sinkhole, the differences between the pads of intermediate slope position are not significant. A high plant variability along short distances in the sinkholes was observed in the study area. That is why the site of sinkholes have a big potential for the distribution of many species. Hence, the area must be separated as strictly protected zone.