Analysis of road development and associated agricultural land use change


ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, vol.190, no.1, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 190 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10661-017-6379-3


Development of road network is one of the strongest drivers of habitat fragmentation. It interferes with ecological processes that are based on material and energy flows between landscape patches. Therefore, changes in temporal patterns of roads may be regarded as important landscape-level environmental indicators. The aim of this study is to analyze road development and associated agricultural land use change near the town of Erdemli located in the eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey. The study area has witnessed an unprecedented development of agriculture since the 2000s. This process has resulted with the expansion of the road network. Associations between agricultural expansion and road development were investigated. High-resolution satellite images of 2004 and 2015 were used to analyze spatial and temporal dimensions of change. Satellite images were classified using a binary approach, in which land areas were labeled as either "agriculture" or "non-agriculture." Road networks were digitized manually. The study area was divided into 23 sublandscapes using a regular grid with 1-km cell spacing. Percentage of landscape (PL) for agriculture and road density (RD) metrics were calculated for the earlier (2004) and later (2015) years. Metric calculations were performed separately for each of the 23 sublandscapes in order to understand spatial diversity of agriculture and road density. Study results showed that both RD and PL exhibited similar increasing trends between 2004 and 2015.