Big Meander River Ecological Network
The importance of ecological networks in sustainable resource planning and management is increasing. Agricultural landscapes could be an indispensable element of ecological networks due to their ecological, economic and social values. Agricultural landscapes are important biodiversity areas, and ecological networks can significantly contribute to the biodiversity in these areas. The promotion of ecological networks and corridors are perceived as efficient nature protection policy instruments in Europe and all around the world. Great numbers of initiatives have been taken in this regard (The Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy, Pan–European Ecological Network –PEEN, the EU Habitats Directive, the Birds Directive, the EU Biodiversity Action Plan for Agriculture). On the contrary, the number of initiations and scientific research is limited in Turkey. Also, no research exists on ecological networks in agricultural areas. Our institutional environment lacks legislation related to the protection of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. These areas, without any conservation status, are not considered potential areas for biodiversity and nature protection. Agricultural landscapes are not manifested in the legislation of related agencies as tools for the protection of biodiversity. The purpose of this study is to investigate the structure of agricultural landscapes from an ecological network planning point of view and to demonstrate their role in establishing ecological networks. Specifically, the goal of this case study of Big Meander (Soke) Plain is to detect the landscape elements for ecological networks and the structural connectivity in the current network.