Author(s): Skalos J, Engstov B
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Abstract The objective of this study was to test a method for analysing long-term structural changes in non-forest wood elements, using a newly developed classification system and relevant landscape characteristics. Although these non-forest wood elements are biotopes that have positive effects for the ecological stability of the landscape little is known about their long-term dynamics. The newly developed knowledge of the historical impact of various landscape management practices on non-forest wood elements can be applied in landscape planning procedures (e.g. planning ecological networks) in order to ensure relevant landscape management in the future. The method was applied in two contrasting study sites, Honbice (244 ha) and Krida (268 ha), located in east Bohemia and north Bohemia, in the Czech Republic. The study was based on old cadastral maps (from 1839 to 1843), black and white aerial photographs (from 1938, 1950, 1966, 1975 to 2006) and field control data from 2006. At the Honbice study site, the proportion of non-forest wood elements increased from 2.0 to 2.9\% of the study site, due to large plantations of scattered vegetation in the open landscape. On the other hand, more than half of the wood vegetation in the village was cut down between 1966 and 2006. In addition, the relative length of the tree alleys decreased from 0.021 km ha(-1) to 0.018 km ha(-1) between 1950 and 1966. At the Krida study site, there was a significant increase in non-forest vegetation (from 2.4 to 8.2\%), due to abandonment of the landscape (former military area). As the village disappeared, the total amount of scattered vegetation grew, due to the natural succession process. The relative length of the tree alleys decreased from 0.009 km ha(-1) to 0.005 km ha(-1). The method that was applied and based on the analysis of long-term structural changes in non-forest wood elements, using a (newly developed) classification system and relevant landscape characteristics has proved to be a suitable procedure for making a detailed description of long-term structural changes in non-forest wood elements in the landscape. The detailed classification system can be used most efficiently when it is applied to rather small territories. Some characteristics display a similar ability to describe changes in non-forest wood structures (e.g. relative length, proportion of the category). Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Environ Manage
and referenced in Journal of Remote Sensing & GIS