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Classification of Turkish forests by altitudinal zones to improve silvicultural practice: a case-study of Turkish high mountain forests

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This paper suggests a new approach that recognises distinct forest types based on altitude and associated factors for the high mountain region of Turkey. It describes the situation in four case-study regions of Turkey, in comparison to observations elsewhere such as the Alps. The Turkish high mountain areas have distinct life zones associated with broad geographic areas and changes in altitude, and the altitudinal distributions of tree species in the Turkish mountains are generally placed in three groups. Four zones differentiated by altitude are described in the case-study regions of the Turkish high mountains. These are: 1) Lowland Forest, 2) Mountain Forest, 3) High Mountain Forest and 4) Alpine. In applying this approach to close-tonature forest management, in contrast to traditional more formal treatments, it reflects local ecological conditions and distinctive forest character. Awareness of zonation and its reflection in practical management is a key to close-to-nature silviculture. It also brings added benefits of enhanced landscape value, nature conservation, and ecosystem functions which potentially improve the economic impacts of tourism.
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Keywords: close-to-nature forestry; forest management planning; mountain forest; nature conservation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Istanbul University Faculty of Forestry Department of Silviculture, TR-34473 Bahceky, Istanbul, Turkey. 2: Sheffield Hallam University, Director of the Tourism and Environmental Change Research Unit, Reader, England.

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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