SPATIOTEMPORAL CHANGE ANALYSIS OF THE PROTECTED AREAS: A CASE STUDY – İĞNEADA FLOODPLAIN FORESTS
Keywords: Protected Areas, Landsat TM time series, Google Earth Engine, Landtrendr analysis, Spatiotemporal Changes
Abstract. Protected areas are important with land or water body ecosystems that have biodiversity, flora and fauna species. In Turkey, National Parks are one of the protected areas managed according to the National Parks Law No. 2873. Among them, the İğneada Floodplain Forests National Park, located in İğneada town in the province of Kırklareli, Turkey has been declared as a national park in 2007, and has an importance being a rare ecosystem, which consists of wetland, swamp, lakes and coastal sand dunes. Planning of Protected Areas can be done in a variety of ways, taking into account the balance of protection/use and should follow policies and guidelines. Today, for the sustainability and effective management of forest ecosystems, remote sensing technology provides an effective tool for assessing and monitoring ecosystem health at different temporal and spatial scales. In this study, potential temporal changes in the National Park were analyzed with Landsat satellite time series images using two different methods. First method, the Landtrendr algorithm (Landsat-based Detection of Trends in Disturbance and Recovery) developed for multitemporal satellite data, uses pixel values as input data and analysis them by using regression models to capture, label and map the changes. In this context, Landsat satellite time series images were taken quinquennial between 1987 and 2007 and biennially until 2017 for Landtrendr analysis (i.e. before and after its declaration as a National Park, respectively). As a second approach, the Google Earth Engine (GEE) cloud-based platform, which facilitates access to high-performance computing resources to process large long-term data sets, was used to analyze the impact of land cover changes. The results showed that the area was subjected to various pressures (i.e. due to illegal felling, pollution, etc.) until it was declared as a National park. Although there was general improvement and recovery after the region declared as a Park, it was seen that the sensitive dynamics of the region require continuous monitoring and protection using geo-information technologies.