The effect of afforestation on biodiversity in Malatya, Turkey.
Since 1960s, the Tepehan (Turkey) region had long been suffering from serious soil erosion. Therefore, large-scale afforestation with mainly coniferous species has continued during the past decades in order to control soil erosion and it has yielded quite successful results. However, since it has been unknown how afforestation influences biodiversity so far this study investigated it. Braun-Blanquette method was used to select a plot in each stratum which represents the vegetation characteristic of the whole area of the forest and to assess vegetation parameters. The results of the survey show that 77 species belonging to 58 genera were recorded in different layers including 7 trees, 4 shrubs and 66 herbs in the study area. Diversity index was used for measuring biological diversity and was found consistently and significantly greater in native Quercus forests than in exotic coniferous plantation forests. These results show that afforestation has a negative influence on species diversity. Therefore, it is recommended to develop strategies for biodiversity conservation in afforestation work in the country to maintain habitats and minimize loss of native species.