Prediction of Vertical and Horizontal Distribution of Vegetation Due to Climate Change in the Eastern Mediterranean Region of Turkey

  • Junji SanoEmail author
  • Shigenobu Tamai
  • Makoto Ando
  • Kemal Tulühan Yılmaz
Part of the The Anthropocene: Politik—Economics—Society—Science book series (APESS, volume 18)


Climate change affects land use patterns all over the world. This study describes the present condition of vegetation in the Seyhan and Ceyhan basins, in the Eastern Mediterranean Region of Turkey, to estimate the impacts of climate change on the species composition and vegetation productivity. There is a great variety of forests ranging from evergreen coniferous forests to deciduous broad-leaved trees along an altitudinal gradient. There are single-species forests of both evergreens and deciduous forests, and also mixed forest formations. The most frequently occurring evergreen forest consists of Pinus brutia. Other needle-leaf forest trees are Pinus halepensis in the coastal regions, and Abies cilicia and Cedrus libani in the higher parts of mountains. The most commonly occurring deciduous forest trees are comprised of various Quercus species, such as Q. infectoria and Q. cerris, which are widespread in this region. The other common trees in the mid-altitude and lower mixed and broad-leaved forests are Carpinus, Fraxinus, Styrax and some maquis species, such as Arbutus andrachne and Quercus coccifera. However, anthropogenic (man-made) destruction has greatly reduced their importance in this region. We estimated that the vegetation would be strongly impacted by global warming and a drier climate in the future, based on the data produced by the climate group of ICCAP (Kimura et al. 2007). The contemporary and 2070s biomass and productivity of this area were estimated from satellite images and field research. The present vegetation was remarkably changed from the potential by anthropogenic pressure, especially at the lower level elevations. Furthermore, recent climate changes were discovered to have had a powerful effect on the evergreen coniferous forests. All vegetation types are predicted to shift from their present distribution areas to northern or higher altitudes, the consequence being that the distribution of the steppe areas will increase and in turn the evergreen coniferous forests will decrease. The biomass distribution in this area will decrease, compared with that in the present, but net primary production will increase by the 2070s. In conclusion, the natural forests should be conserved and reforestation enhanced to mitigate the climate change of the future.


Anthropogenic impact Biomass Deciduous broad-leaved forest Evergreen forest Global warming Present and potential vegetation Productivity Steppe Succession 



The authors sincerely thank Prof. Dr. Tsugihiro Watanabe (the leader of the ICCAP: the Research Project on the Impact of Climate Changes on Agricultural Production Systems in Arid Areas) and Prof. Dr. Rıza Kanber (the coordinator of the Turkish Team of the ICCAP) for their great efforts in organising and completing the ICCAP Project; Drs. Türker Altan and Mustafa Artar at the Çukurova University; Drs. Ekrem Aktoklu, Mustafa Atmaca and Kayhan Kaplan at the Mustafa Kemal University; Dr. Meryem Atik at the Akdeniz University; Mr. Ramazan Gökdemiroğlu at the Forest Office in Aladağ; and many people in Turkey for their arrangements and help with our field research and useful discussions. We also greatly thank Dr. Hakan Alphan and Yüksel İzcankurtaran for their help with our preliminary research; Drs. Takanori Nagano, Yoichi Fujihara, Ms. Noriko Sasaki, and many of the staff of RIHN, Dr. Fujio Kimura at Tsukuba University and Dr. Kenji Tanaka at Kyoto University, and all ICCAP members for their great help and support with our research, and Tottori University students, Mr. Keisuke Kato and Ms. Yuki Kishibe for their data analysis, especially of the land-use pattern using Landsat images and the potential vegetation patterns in the present and the future. We are deeply grateful to Prof. Dr. Mehmet Aydın at Mustafa Kemal University and Prof. Dr. Selim Kapur at Çukurova University for their insightful comments and useful suggestions on our manuscript. We had many valuable and precious experiences during the study of the vegetation and climate change in Turkey. Therefore, we gratefully appreciate all of them once again. Finally we thank the editors and reviewers of this book, and Prof. Dr. Marc D. Abrams at the Pennsylvania State University, who made informative comments and corrections.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junji Sano
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shigenobu Tamai
    • 2
  • Makoto Ando
    • 3
  • Kemal Tulühan Yılmaz
    • 4
  1. 1.Forest Ecology and Ecosystem Management Laboratory, Faculty of AgricultureTottori UniversityTottoriJapan
  2. 2.Arid Land Research CenterTottori UniversityTottoriJapan
  3. 3.Field Science Education and Research CenterKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of AgricultureÇukurova UniversityAdanaTurkey

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