A New Approach to Assessing Landscape Diversity: Relative Diversity Index
Keywords:Peyzaj çeşitliliği, Çeşitlilik endeksleri, shannon's çeşitlilik endeksi, simpson's çeşitlilik endeksi, Bağıl çeşitlilik endeksi
Landscape character analysis is a process that provides an understanding of the natural and man-made characteristics of a region or area by examining elements such as landscape diversity, type and unit. Landscape diversity refers to the differences between different ecosystems, plant and animal species, natural features and other landscape elements in a landscape and is the result of a combination of biological, ecological and geographical factors. Landscape type is a combination of key features that reflect the overall character and structure of this diversity. The smallest part of this combination, the landscape unit, is the repetition of types in their spatial distribution. Expressing landscape diversity in terms of type/unit-based mathematical indices is important for making sustainable planning decisions in landscape management. Among these indices, the common Shannon's diversity index includes the number of types and the proportion of each type in total types, while Simpson's diversity index is the opposite of Shannon's index. In other words, low values indicate high diversity and high values indicate low diversity. In this study, in addition to these two mathematical indices, the relative diversity index, which is a new approach that includes the evaluation of the number of units of landscape types and the size of the area together, was calculated for landscape diversity in the sub-basin boundaries including all units of Afşin-Elbistan Thermal Power Plant. In landscape planning studies, Geographic Information Systems were used as a tool to express the area with mathematical indices. For this purpose, the spatial distribution of landscape types was found by overlaying forest stand types with CORINE land cover/land use classes dated 2018. Landscape diversity in this area was assessed by comparing three different indices. Thus, the importance of the relative diversity index in considering the components that make up landscape diversity as a whole was emphasized, and the importance of measuring diversity with mathematical indices in making sustainable planning decisions was revealed.