Monitoring and analysis of landscape dynamics
Qualitative characteristics of forest ecosystems, especially their biotic part largely depend on spatial context of a given locality and its historical development. The study of landscape dynamics can reveal potential anthropogenic pressure on ecosystems.
Monitoring and analysis of landscape dynamics will be divided into two parts - a wider surroundings of selected localities with natural forests and selected large protected areas.
In wider surroundings of selected monitored localities with natural forests dynamics of the land cover will be assessed from the past 190 years. The assessment will focus namely on indicators of stability, continuity and connectivity of forest ecosystems, or rather the rate of their fragmentation by non-forest biotopes, road network and other anthropogenic elements, and also on the intensity of processes occurring in the immediate surroundings of the studied localities. Further, we will asses changes in the land cover structure which will be analysed with the help of indices of contrast (difference between adjacent land cover classes), land cover diversity and changes of the core area size from the perspective of individual model groups of organisms. Last but not least we will analyse intensity of human activities with the help of indicators distance to settlements, density of road network, number/density of individual anthropogenic elements.
In selected large protected areas we will assess state and development of forest ecosystems in the context of their fragmentation by anthropogenic elements during the period of modern landscape protection, i.e. from 1950s/1960s till present. The focus will be put on dynamics of anthropogenic elements that can negatively affect protection on landscape level (changes of road network and settlements, development of recreational areas, namely ski resorts).
Analyses will be conducted with the help of GIS and its specialized tools. Source data are represented by digitized maps of second and third military survey from 19th century, historical topographical maps from 20th century, up-to-date ortophotomaps and respective digital layers (databases DMU from 1990s and ZABAGED from present).
should contribute to clarifying effect of landscape changes in a wider spatial context on biota of the most valuable part of forest ecosystems and to document increasing anthropogenic pressure on selected protected areas.