Determination of land degradation according to land use types: a case study from the Gulf of Edremit, Turkey


FORESTIST, vol.70, no.1, pp.44-52, 2020 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 70 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.5152/forestist.2020.19030
  • Journal Name: FORESTIST
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), CAB Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Directory of Open Access Journals, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.44-52
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


Land degradation has a long history and a significant effect on land management. Long-term changes in land use are among the important mechanisms of the land degradation process. According to the land use evolution, the main goal of this study is to determine the level of land degradation within the land use types by using the Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA) Index, and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index in the Gulf of Edremit. The methods presented in this study can easily be applied to identify forces driving the land degradation from a small basin to regional scale for mitigation of desertification in sub-humid Mediterranean environmental conditions. The ESAs are calculated according to land use types within the context of soil, climate, vegetation, and management, through their special characteristics, and their interactions with each other. The main results, assessed with the proposed land degradation, showed that approximately 30% of the total study area is critically sensitive to degradation, and 50% of the study area is fragile. The ratio of critical areas in settlement areas and agricultural areas was found to be quite high, especially in coastal areas. The most striking result is that one-half of the forests were found to be fragile. The spatial variability of land degradation should be an important component of land use management to ensure environmental sustainability, especially in the Aegean coastal area.