Turkey Turkey Turkey Turkey

Biodiversity Turkey

Vulnerabilities - Terrestrial biodiversity

Many species with northern affinities (i.e. of Eurosiberian extraction) have their southernmost borders in Turkey. A northward shift in this range boundary may lead to such species being removed from the country biota for good. Altitudinal range shifts are possible since Turkey is highly mountainous; however, a reduction in the number of separate populations, in linkages between those populations and probably in total population size would increase the risk of extinction even for species that can escape to higher land. Tertiary relicts, especially those in the south-west (Lycian Peninsula) and south (Amanos Mountains), would suffer most and may become extinct within a century (1).

Vulnerabilities - Fresh water biodiversity

The Mediterranean ecohydrology is vulnerable to climate change, and can affect flora and fauna of the region. In arid and semi-arid parts of the region, the biggest danger facing the lakes is the expected decrease in water input resulting from increasing evapotranspiration with increasing temperature and decreasing precipitation. This process can lead to conversion of existing freshwater to saltwater (2).

Vulnerabilities - Mediterranean

The eastern Mediterranean is an essentially land-locked basin with nutrient-poor surface waters (“marine desert”). In the past two decades rapid increases of the sea surface temperature have been observed, dominated by changes in summer. Modeling studies suggest that this tendency will continue in future, and the warming of surface and deep waters will result in salinization and water mass stabilization. The marine biodiversity can be affected, e.g. through reduced nutrient delivery to surface waters, “tropicalization” and the invasion of alien species through the Suez Canal (3).

From a number of model experiments and three climate change scenarios (B1, A2 and A1B, respectively optimistic, pessimistic and intermediate scenarios in terms of gases emissions) it was concluded that the mean Mediterranean sea surface temperature will increase with a range between +1.73 and +2.97 °C in 2070–2099 compared to 1961–1990. These experiments project mean Mediterranean sea surface salinity increase with a range between +0.48 and +0.89 for the period 2070–2099 compared to 1961–1990 (8). 

Adaptation strategies Turkey

Work on adaptation strategies should start immediately, focusing primarily on issues of water management (drought and flood risks) and the vulnerability of ecosystems (fire). These strategies need to be integrated into the relevant sectoral strategies such as physical plans, water and forest management plans (1).

Adaptation strategies should focus on increasing the resilience of watershed systems to climatic change. Given the heterogeniety in watershed types, strategies need to incorporate local needs and issues with active participation of all stakeholders. The conservation and sustainability of watersheds in the Mediterranean region is an important issue to sustain local and regional economies and ecosystems. A localized strategy that incorporates watershed characteristics and information is vital to sustain the region. A long-term strategy is needed to involve resilience enhancing measures that will enable watersheds to withstand and transform to climatic change (2).


The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for Turkey.

  1. Laušević et al. (2008)
  2. Erol and  Randhir (2012)
  3. Lelieveld et al. (2012)
  4. Adloff et al (2015)