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Open AccessArticle

Monitoring of Landscape Transformations within Landscape Parks in Poland in the 21st Century

Department of Land Management, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, 50-375 Wroclaw, Poland
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2410; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082410
Received: 21 February 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
One of the most problematic forms of nature protection in Poland relates to landscape parks. They include the most valuable landscapes, but the areas within the landscape park still have economic uses. Therefore, the monitoring of landscape changes within landscape parks is necessary in order to properly manage these forms of protection. The main objective of the study was to monitor the scale and nature of landscape transformations within the boundaries of landscape parks in Poland during the period 2000–2018 and to assess the possibility of using the landscape change index (LCI) to monitor the intensity of landscape transformations within this type of protected area. Preliminary analyses of the transformations within all landscape parks in Poland showed an upward trend, both in terms of the number of types of identified landscape changes as well as their area. In spite of the large diversity and degree of transformation in landscape parks, several dominant processes can be observed. The largest number and area of changes during each of the analyzed periods were found in transformations within forest landscapes (temporary and permanent deforestation and forest maturation), which constitute the dominant type of land cover within most of the landscape parks. In open landscapes, changes mainly relate to afforestation and natural succession in meadows, pastures, and arable land, as well as the transformation of arable land into mining areas. Twelve case studies, covering all landscape parks in Lower Silesia, have shown that the LCI is an excellent tool for monitoring the intensity of landscape changes, but it is dependent on the accuracy of the source data. The analyses confirmed that, during the study periods, the changes in all 12 Lower Silesian landscape parks were at a low level, but their particular intensification took place in the years from 2012 to 2018. The highest LCI was found in the area where a natural disaster had occurred (air tornado), which destroyed huge areas of forest in landscape parks. After changes in the forest landscape, the most frequently identified type of change in 2006–2012 was the transformation of non-forest landscapes into forest landscapes. The main reason for such changes was the expansion of forest into abandoned arable land, meadows, and pastures. The use of the Corine Land Cover database to calculate the LCI and monitor the intensity of landscape change revealed a low usability of the database for the year 2000 and a high usability for data from 2006 to 2018. View Full-Text
Keywords: landscape change; landscape change index; landscape dynamics; land use change; land cover change; landscape ecology landscape change; landscape change index; landscape dynamics; land use change; land cover change; landscape ecology
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Krajewski, P. Monitoring of Landscape Transformations within Landscape Parks in Poland in the 21st Century. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2410.

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