Impacts of Agriculture on Coastal Dunes and a Proposal for Adaptation to Climate Change: The Case of the Akyatan Area in the Seyhan Delta

  • Kemal Tulühan YılmazEmail author
  • Didem Harmancı
  • Yüksel Ünlükaplan
  • Hakan Alphan
  • Levent Tezcan
Part of the The Anthropocene: Politik—Economics—Society—Science book series (APESS, volume 18)


The overall aim of this paper is to propose a sustainable management alternative for the dunes in the research site in order to adopt the concept of the expected impacts of climate change. For this aim we analysed the agricultural land use along with income generation and sharing versus ecosystem losses using a case study of the Akyatan (Kapıköy) coastal area, located in the Lower Seyhan Plain, Turkey. The coastal agriculture practised on sand dunes is more profitable than that in the lower plain, but it causes irreversible damage to the dune environment. The existing land rental procedure was considered improper since it causes the extensive conversion of the sand dunes to agricultural fields, which in turn causes the loss of the natural heritage. This conversion results in the loss of the barrier function of the dune ridges which could provide protection for sea level rise. A land use proposal, including dune reclamation by means of afforestation and cultivation of indigenous dune plants, suggests alternative income generators for the local farmers. The goals of the dune reclamation action plan are to: (i) foster re-vegetation of indigenous woody plant cover, (ii) establish stone pine or carob orchards, and (iii) introduce certain perennial plant species (e.g. aromatic plants and fragrant geophytes) which will generate income for the locals. This approach will help to protect the native bio-diversity and create alternative income generation instead of the existing land management, which is degrading the coastal dune ecosystem.


Afforestation Coastal zone management Sand dunes Sea level rise Seyhan delta Sustainable agriculture Welfare economics 



This study was partly supported by the Academic Research Project Unit of Çukurova University and TÜBİTAK. The authors wish to thank ICCAP project (Impact of Climate Changes on Agricultural Production in Arid Areas) promoted by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RHIN, Japan). We are also grateful to the representatives of Adana Regional Directorate of Forestry for their contribution and Professor Dr. Selim Kapur and Professor Alan Feest for reviewing the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kemal Tulühan Yılmaz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Didem Harmancı
    • 2
  • Yüksel Ünlükaplan
    • 3
  • Hakan Alphan
    • 3
  • Levent Tezcan
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of AgricultureÇukurova UniversityAdanaTurkey
  2. 2.Adana Regional Directorate of ForestryAdanaTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of AgricultureÇukurova UniversityAdanaTurkey
  4. 4.Hacettepe University (UKAM), International Research Center for Karst Water ResourcesAnkaraTurkey

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