OPTIMIZED ECOLOGICAL NETWORK APPROACH OF HIGHLY URBANIZED CITIES: THE CASE OF ADANA CITY
Keywords: Ecological Network, Landscape Connectivity, Landscape Metrics, Landscape Planning, Remote Sensing, GIS, Graph Theory
Abstract. One of the most significant challenges in urban areas, where the process of rapid urban expansion takes place, is the loss of agricultural lands and natural habitats. The conversion of these areas into residential and commercial zones leads to a decline in urban biodiversity and the progressive loss of vital habitat areas. Analyzing habitat connectivity and conducting landscape measurements provide valuable insights for the development of land use and management strategies, enhancing our understanding of the spatial structure of the landscape, and directing conservation efforts. Incorporating measures such as green corridors and landscape connection networks into urban planning management becomes crucial in order to mitigate the adverse effects of habitat fragmentation and enhance ecosystem resilience within cities. Remote sensing techniques offer opportunities to create habitat connectivity models that enable the quantitative and qualitative identification of fragmented habitat patches. These models serve as tools to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation measures and monitor the potential impacts of future land use changes on habitat networks. Within this context, an optimized approach to habitat connectivity is presented, aiming to contribute to landscape planning and ecological-based studies in a city with undergoing rapid urbanization like Adana. By identifying degraded areas and introducing new habitat patches, a significant improvement in the connectivity of the habitat network has been observed. The findings indicated that the addition of new habitat patches to degraded areas can substantially enhance the city's overall habitat connectivity.