Results of a paired catchment analysis of forest thinning in Turkey in relation to forest management options

Yurtseven, I., et al., 2018. Science of the Total Environment

Original research (primary data)
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Adaptation to climate change has become a more serious concern as IPCC assessment reports estimate a rise of up to 2 degrees C in average global temperatures by the end of the century. Several recently published studies have underlined the importance of forest management in mitigating the impacts of climate change and in supporting the adaptation capacity of the ecosystem. This study focuses on the role of water-related forest services in this adaptation process. The effects of forestry practices on streamflow can best be determined by paired watershed analysis. The impact of two cutting treatments on runoff was analyzed by a paired experimental watershed study in the Belgrade Forest and the results were evaluated in relation to similar experiments conducted around the world. Forest thinning treatments at 11% and 18% were carried out in a mature oak-beech forest ecosystem over different time periods. Although the thinning increased the runoff statistically, the amount of surplus water remained <5% of the annual water yield. Evidently, the hydrologic response of the watersheds was low due to the reduced intensity of the timber harvest. Finally, the results were combined with those of global studies on thinning, clearcutting and species conversion with the aim of formulating management options for adaptation.

Case studies

Basic information

  • Case ID: INT-090-1
  • Intervention type: Management
  • Intervention description:

    forest management, cutting treatments In February 1986 and from October 2011 to December 2011, 11% and 18% of the standing volumes, respectively, were removed from the treatment watershed (W-IV) The standard selective cutting method used was a regular timber harvesting procedure carried out according to the management plans of this forest area.

  • Landscape/sea scape ecosystem management: Yes
  • Climate change impacts Effect of Nbs on CCI Effect measures
    Reduced water availability  No effect streamflow measures, hydrology d etection of the influence of treatments on the streamflow at different times by using paired watershed analysis Water levels in the outlets of the watersheds were recorded using Elliott round-chart recording systems that measure streamflow raw data was then converted into monthly data to find the mean monthly flows.
  • Approach implemented in the field: Yes
  • Specific location:

    Belgrade Forest Ortadere paired experimental watersheds (W-I and W-IV) located in the Kurtkemeri forestry district of the Belgrade Forest have been instrumented and studied for long-term ecological research since 1977 (Fig. 1). The Ortadere experimental watersheds are approximately 3 km south of the Black Sea and 10 km north of the Bosphorus.

  • Country: Turkey
  • Habitat/Biome type: Mediterranean shrubs and Forests |
  • Issue specific term: Not applicable


  • Notes on intervention effectivness: effectiveness evaluated by comparing to a control watershed even though runoff was statistically increased, the wateryield wasn’t overall. “Therefore, timber removal rates of 11% and 18% did not statistically increase the water yield.”
  • Is the assessment original?: Yes
  • Broadtype of intervention considered: Not applicable
  • Compare effectivness?: No
  • Compared to the non-NBS approach: Not applicable
  • Report greenhouse gas mitigation?: No
  • Impacts on GHG: Not applicable
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on natural ecosystems: No
  • Impacts for the ecosystem: Not reported
  • Ecosystem measures:
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on people: No
  • Impacts for people: Not reported
  • People measures:
  • Considers economic costs: No
  • Economic appraisal conducted: No
  • Economic appraisal described:
  • Economic costs of alternative considered: No
  • Compared to an alternative: Not reported

Evaluation methodology

  • Type of data: Quantitative
  • Is it experimental: Yes
  • Experimental evalution done: In-situ/field
  • Non-experimental evalution done: Not applicable
  • Study is systematic: