Detecting treeline dynamics in response to climate warming using forest stand maps and Landsat data in a temperate forest

Arekhi M., Yesil A., Ozkan U. Y., Sanli F. B.

FOREST ECOSYSTEMS, vol.5, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 5
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s40663-018-0141-3
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Treeline dynamics have inevitable impacts on the forest treeline structure and composition. The present research sought to estimate treeline movement and structural shifts in response to recent warming in Cehennemdere, Turkey. After implementing an atmospheric correction, the geo-shifting of images was performed to match images together for a per pixel trend analysis. We developed a new approach based on the NDVI, LST (land surface temperature) data, air temperature data, and forest stand maps for a 43-year period. The forest treeline border was mapped on the forest stand maps for 1970, 1992, 2002, and 2013 to identify shifts in the treeline altitudes, and then profile statistics were calculated for each period. Twenty sample plots (10 x 10 pixels) were selected to estimate the NDVI and LST shifts across the forest timberline using per-pixel trend analysis and non-parametric Spearman's correlation analysis. In addition, the spatial and temporal shifts in treeline tree species were computed within the selected plots for four time periods on the forest stand maps to determine the pioneer tree species.