The critical role of geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) in forest site classification and mapping

Alkan Günlü 1, Ali Ihsan Kadıoğulları 2, E. Zeki Başkent 3, Deniz Güney 4, Gürcan Buyuksalih 5
1 Karadeniz Technical University, Faculty of Forestry, 61080, Trabzon, Turkey
Tel: +90 462 377 37 34, Fax: +90 462 325 74 99
alkan61@ktu.edu.tr
2 Karadeniz Technical University, Faculty of Forestry, 61080, Trabzon, Turkey
Tel: +90 462 377 28 46, Fax: +90 462 325 74 99
alikadi@ktu.edu.tr
3 Karadeniz Technical University, Faculty of Forestry, 61080, Trabzon, Turkey
Tel: +90 462 377 37 34, Fax: +90 462 325 74 99
baskent@ktu.edu.tr
4 Karadeniz Technical University, Faculty of Forestry, 61080, Trabzon, Turkey
Tel: +90 462 377 28 36, Fax: +90 462 325 74 99
d_guney61@ktu.edu.tr
5.Zonguldak Karaelmas University, Department of Geodesy & Photogrammetry 
Faculty of Engineering, 67100, Zonguldak, Turkey
Tel: +90 372 257 59 20, 
gurcan61@hotmail.com

Abstract
It is essential that forest sites be characterized and classified to realize effective planning and implementation of sustainable forest management activities or regulations. Developing as well as conducting harvesting activities on the ground in the absence of forest site information is highly ineffective or insufficient, calling for recognizing the potential production capacity and conditions of forest sites. Forest site classification has been of a major problem in Turkish forestry. In Turkey, the productivity of forest sites has been determined with solo wood production objective in forest management using the dominant height  at a reference age. However, forests sites have to be determined  based on various factors such as landscape structure, climatic profile, biotic features and soil characteristics, as  typical site parameters. This direct process is highly time demanding, expensive and hard to conduct, necessitating the use of information technologies such as Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS). This research was therefore designed to demonstrate the  integrated use of GIS and RS in characterizing, classifying and mapping forest sites in Genya Mountain, located in central Management District in Artvin State Forest Enterprise of Turkey. The ground measurement data, used as  ground truth data, was correlated with the supervised classification of the Landsat ETM (2001) image. 

Keywords: forest site classification, geographic information system, remote sensing

In: Caetano, M. and Painho, M. (eds). Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Spatial Accuracy Assessment in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, 5 – 7 July 2006, Lisboa, Instituto Geográfico Português

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