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Modeling Future Impacts on Land Cover of Rapid Expansion of Hazelnut Orchards: A Case Study on Samsun, Turkey
European Journal of Sustainable Development Research, 2022, 6(4), em0193, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejosdr/12167
ABSTRACT: Land-use/land-cover (LULC) simulation models predict the long-term effects of LULC changes under various scenarios. Patch-level land use simulation (PLUS) is a recently developed software that uses a rule-mining framework for LULC modelling. With a market share of 76% in the world, hazelnut is a strategic crop for Turkey. The hazelnut orchards have grown in Turkey since the first law was issued on 21 October 1935. This study was carried out to model the hazelnut orchards for 2030, 2042, 2054, and 2066 based on Samsun province and show the future impacts on land use types. Samsun was chosen as a case study due to the rapid expansion of hazelnut groves since 2006. According to PLUS results, by the year 2030, the increase in the hazelnut groves in Samsun is predicted as 9.38%, and hazelnut fields will be formed by the main transformation of open spaces with little or no vegetation, shrub and/or herbaceous vegetation associations, and forest; and this transformation will have severe effects on the ecosystem. The results clearly showed that hazelnut cultivation areas would continue to increase in the future and revealed that policymakers would need to conduct new regulations for environmental sustainability and to maintain Turkey’s power in this crop.