Causes of land degradation and rehabilitation efforts of rangelands in Turkey


Department of Watershed Management, İstanbul University, Faculty of Forestry, İstanbul, Turkey


Department of Forest Policy and Administration, İstanbul University, Faculty of Forestry, İstanbul, Turkey


Department of Watershed Management, Çankırı Karatekin University, Faculty of Forestry, Çankırı, Turkey

FORESTIST 2018; 68: 106-113
DOI: 10.26650/forestist.2018.396995
Read: 3024 Downloads: 639 Published: 20 July 2018

Turkey, which is located in an ecologicaltransition zone between subhumid Southern Europe and the arid Middle East, hasa long history of land use and civilization. Pressure from expanding humanpopulations, intensified animal production, and transhumant movements inparticular, are leading to the complete denudation of many areas of centralTurkey (Central Anatolia), with soil erosion emerging as the primary concern. Amountainous topography and semiarid climatic conditions exacerbate the threatof soil erosion and have limited the success of efforts to restore degradedlands. Although afforestation efforts have increased, rangeland areas dominatedby shrub and grass species have decreased. Remnant rangeland areas continue toexperience overgrazing and severe losses in productivity. Forest remmants andarcheological studies indicate that, due to human use, Central Anatolia haslost its original native vegetation, including pine and oak species, and hasassumed anthropogenic steppe characteristics. For this reason, the restorationemphasis has been on tree species, without any consideration for shrub or grassspecies that could help to stabilize soils in denuded and degraded landscapes.In this article, we discuss the socioeconomic and environmental limitations ofthe natural revegetation of rangeland areas, and the need for restorationefforts with a focus on shrub and grass species in areas vulnerable to highrates of soil erosion.

Cite this paper as: Gökbulak, F., Uygur Erdoğan, B., Yıldırım, H.T., Özçelik, M.S. 2018. Causes of land degradation and rehabilitation efforts of rangelands in Turkey. Forestist 68(2): 106-113.

EISSN 2602-4039