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Messrs. Atila GÜL * & Can ACAR **
* S.D.U. Forest Faculty, Landscape Architect Section, ATABEY-ISPARTA
** Egean Forestry Research Institute KARSIYAKA-IZMIR


Statistically, half of the rural population of Turkey has been living in and around the forest and mountainous lands. Income level of these people is low. They are in need of 1)-Agricultural land for raising crop and food, 2)-Construction material (timber and lumber) for building, 3)-Firewood for cooking and heating, 4)-Pastoral lands for livestock. Therefore, natural resources such as forests and pastoral lands are unconsciously exploited in Turkey.

In particular, marginal agricultural lands obtained by clearing of forestlands have many problems such as erosion and productivity degradation of soil due to continue cultivation, misusing of soil etc. Therefore, misuse of rural land mainly causes of deforestation, rural poverty, erosion and other degeneration of soil. It is observed that most of erosion occurs on marginal lands in Turkey. It should have given priority to the measures dealing with the target people who are living forests and mountainous lands in order to solve problems, conversation and sustenance of natural resources.

Turkey is particularly very rich in medical and aromatic plants. 347 species have commercial values. 30 percent of these plants are exported abroad about 30 000 ton/year. Turkey is third in ranking at world (4). Also, most of these plants have been faced with being endangered or extinct.

If these economic plants are cultivated and grown on villager's own lands, it can provide both income and sustenance of natural resources. As a result, it will decrease erosion problem and extinction of these plants in nature.

This study was carried out to determine the effects on erosion control of the cultivation of Origanum onites, Salvia officinalis and Melisa officinalis on the marginal agricultural land in our region.

2. Material and Method

2.1 Characteristics of study site- This study was conducted in degraded forest areas of Manisa, Sarigöl in Turkey. Aspect of the study area is north-west and west. Sloping of the area is between 20–40 percent. The altitude is 450 meters.

Soil characteristics of location: Topsoil has a structure of clay-sandy and sandy-clay. It contains 0.72 the percentage of CaCO3, 6–7 of pH, 0.803–2.946 the percentage of organic material, 0.040–0.140 the percentage of nitrogen (N), 2.3–13.8 the percentage of P205.

Climatic characteristics: The Averages of temperature are minimal 70 C, maximum 25 °C in 1997 and 1998. But it is minimal 1 °C and maximum 28 °C in 1999. The averages of relative humidity are 32.89 in 1997, 43.46 in 1998 and 35.60 in 1999. The averages of precipitation are 479.2 mm in 1997, 527.1 mm in 1998 and 326,7 mm in 1999.

2.2. Material- Used plant materials in study were grown from the seed in greenhouse conditions in 1996, then were taken tubes after taking roots. All plants were planted in area on February in 1997 at the same time.

2.3. Method - This study was established with two repetitions as random plot experimental design. There were total 8 plots included as control plots. Dimensions of a plot were 5 m × 20 m. The data of 1997, 1998 and 1999 were evaluated.

This area that was in degraded forest areas, was ready for the implementation of the study in 1996. All of plots were enclosed with concrete hedges. Concrete apron and flow holes were placed below. Under the flow holes barrels of 200 litre placed. All plots were first cultivated on the soil and removed living plant covers. About 171 saplings for each plot were planted at an interval of 0.5 m × 1 m in 1997. Cultivation was conducted without fertilisation and irrigation on ecological condition. Treatments are living percentage and height of plants, percentage of plant cover, erosion rate of plots and yield

3. Discussion

3.1. The Living percentage of Plants: In this study, It was observed that the highest living rate was about 93.3 percent in Origanum onites plots. Origanum onites are evergreen. It might be affected negatively from drought. If it seeds mature without cutting, plant might be dry. But if it is cut before maturing the seeds, it can continue living healthily by producing new shoots from root.

Melissa officinalis has a 84.2 percent living of saplings. It can show particularly maintain green colour and living rate in spring. However, living ratio can decrease and leaves becomes shrunk due to summer drought and sometimes shoots die. Leaves can become green to black colour and shoots on surface of soil dries in winter.

 1997 (number)1998 (number)1999 (number)The Percentage Of living
Rep IRep IIAverageRep IRep IIAverageRep IRep IIAverage
Origanum onites162163163167170169161158159,593,3
Melissa officinallis134145140162166164146142144,084,2
Salvia officinallis138126132170160165138120129,075,4

Figure 1: The Living Percentage of Plants (%)

Salvia officinalis, which is an evergreen, has a lower rate than others with a 75.4 percent. For this reason if it becomes seedy without mowing, it can dry and die. Drought has more negative effect on it than others do. When its shoot and roots become ligneous, it can need more water in summer. Therefore, early mowing is necessary to keep the plant live.

3.2 The height of plants - All plants have similar height average values. The height of plants rapidly increased with precipitates in spring and particularly had more height on April and March during going on seed and blooming. But after the fall of seeds, plant growth stopped and sometimes shoots become dried. Salvia officinalis had more height than others due to having a tendency to ligneous of stem did.

Origanum onites17,828,230,225,4
Melissa officinallis17,731,831,427,0
Salvia officinallis18,226,728,324,4

Figure 2: The height of plants (cm)

3.3. The Percent of Plant Cover (%) - Because of high percentage of living, Origanum onites and Melissa officinalis had more covering in plots in third year. Although cover of Salvia officinalis has rapidly increased after first year, it has appeared lessening the percent of plant cover due to damage by summer drought from second year on.

 Diameter of Crown (cm) 1997The Percentage of Cover Plants in Plots 1997Diameter of Crown (cm) 1998The Percentage of Plant Cover in Plots 1998Diameter of Crown (cm) 1999The Percentage of Plant Cover in Plots (1999)
Origanum onites22638194018
Melissa officinallis22536173817
Salvia officinallis1733112298

Figure 3: The Percentage of Plant Cover in Plots (%)

3.4. The Rate of Erosion of Plots (kg/100m2) - Similar values obtained during the study from all of plants. As being perennial plants, they have similar growing and same planting intervals of saplings and as a result showed similar soil protection. It was also determined that the plots planted with these plants showed 3 times lower erosion rate than the control (empty) plots due to this rapid growth. This is a result of fast growing of plants and their covering of soil surface and accumulation of plant residues.

Rep IRep IIAverageRep IRep IIAverageRep IRep IIAverage
Origanum onites141,0146,5143,837,142,840,035,119,627,4
Melissa officinallis143,5154,6149,140,748,344,528,416,322,4
Salvia officinallis151,2120,7136,050,253,451,839,814,227,0
The Control Plots244,7215,7230,2108,0113,3110,797,991,294,6

Figure 4: The Rate of Erosion of Plots (kg/100m2)

3.5. The Measuring of Yield - All plants were planted in 1997, yield was not measured at first year. In this study, Salvia officinalis with a yield of 535 kg/Da. in 1998 and 945 kg/Da. in 1999, has the highest values of fresh herb than others. It can be explained with its big leaves and the half-ligneous structure. The fresh herb values of Origanum onites were about 430–590 kg/Da. in 1998 and 1999. The herbaceous Melissa officinalis has lowest values of fresh herb between 190 kg/Da. in 1998, 205 kg/Da. in 1999.

Although these values of marginal lands were 3 times lower than of productive agricultural lands, it might really be hopeful and very important for ecological agricultural.

 Fresh Herbal Yields (Kg/da)
Rep IRep IIAverageRep IRep IIAverage
Origanum onites410450430630550590
Salvia officinallis4606105355801310945
Melissa officinallis200180190210200205

 Drog Herbal Yields (kg/da)
Rep IRep IIAverageRep IRep IIAverage
Origanum onites164,0122,0143,0214,0176,0195,0
Salvia officinallis170,0207,0188,5197,0419,0308,0
Melissa officinallis74,063,068,559,062,060,5

Figure 5: Yields of Fresh and Dried Herbal of Plants (kg/da)

4. Conclusion

In this study, it was determined that these plants could be easily cultivated on marginal agricultural lands without applying any irrigation and fertilisation on conditions of Manisa-Sarigöl region and can contribute to erosion control.

The cultivation of marginal lands can be economic because of low man power, costs of production, maintain, although yields of these plants on marginal agricultural lands have 3 times lower than those of the productive agricultural lands.

Turkey is very rich in medical and aromatic plants. They are collected from natural resources. Their cultivation on marginal lands will be very useful. This will stop erosion and make soil richer with nutritional materials. And also will provide an extra income for the forest villagers. These plants might be planted either single plant cultivation or mixed with trees and shrubs on marginal lands. All of plants are also ideal for Agriculture-Forestry mixed systems (Agroforestry Systems).

For widely acceptance of cultivation of these plants by forest villagers, some measures such as extension and training should be taken.

5. Bibliography

ACAR, C., GÜL, A., 1997. Vegetative Propagation of Some Plant Species Useable for Erosion Control in Ege Region. Ege Forestry Research Institute ISSN: 1300–9524 İzmir-Turkey.

CEYLAN, A., 1987. Medicinal Plants II. E.Ü. Agriculture Faculty No: 481 Bornova-İzmir.

CEYLAN, A., 1995. The Studies Agronomic on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants E.U. Agriculture Faculty, Tarla Bitkileri Bilimi Dernei Workshop Medicinal Aromatic Plants Page, 1: 17–19, Bornova-İzmir, Turkey.

ÖZHATAY, N., KOYUNCU, M., ATAY, S., BYFIELD A., 1997, A Study About the Trade of The Wild Medicinal Plants of Turkey. The Society for the Protection of Nature (DHKD), Istanbul-Turkey.


MM. Atila GÜL* et Can ACAR**
* Faculté de foresterie SDU, section d'aménagement du paysage, ATABEY-ISPARTA
** Institut de recherche en foresterie de la mer Égée, KARSIYAKA-IZMIR Turquie


Les statistiques montrent que la moitié de la population rurale de Turquie vit dans des régions forestières ou montagneuses. Le niveau de revenu de ces populations est faible. Elles ont besoin 1) de terres agricoles pour cultiver et produire des denrées alimentaires, 2) de matériaux de construction (bois et bois d'œuvre), 3) de bois de feu pour faire la cuisine et se chauffer et 4) de pˆturages pour les animaux. Les ressources naturelles, telles que la forêt et les pâturages, sont donc inconsidérément exploitées en Turquie.

En particulier, les terres agricoles marginales gagnées sur les forêts par essartage sont très dégradées, étant soumises à l'érosion et à une détérioration du rendement des sols dues à une mise en culture continue, à l'exploitation excessive des sols, etc. Donc, l'exploitation inconsidérée des terres rurales est principalement cause de déboisement, de la pauvreté rurale, de l'érosion et d'autres formes de dégradation des sols. On observe qu'en Turquie l'érosion se produit principalement sur les terres marginales. Il faudrait donner la priorité aux mesures visant la population qui vit dans les régions forestières et montagneuses, afin d'éliminer les problèmes, de préserver les ressources naturelles et d'assurer leur mise en valeur durable.

La Turquie est très riche en plantes médicinales et aromatiques. On dénombre 347 espèces qui ont une valeur commerciale; 30 % des plantes récoltées sont exportées, à raison d'environ 30 000 tonnes par an. La Turquie est le troisième producteur mondial. Toutefois, la plupart de ces espèces sont menacées ou sont en voie d'extinction.

Cultivées par les villageois sur leurs propres parcelles, ces plantes d'intérêt économique peuvent assurer des revenus aussi bien que la préservation des ressources naturelles. Il en résulterait une atténuation de l'érosion et du risque d'extinction des espèces sauvages.

L'étude a pour objet de déterminer l'importance pour la lutte contre l'érosion de la culture sur des terres marginales agricoles du pays de trois plantes aromatiques et médicinales: Origanum onites, Salvia officinalis et Melissa officinalis.

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