Monitoring of Landscape Transformations within Landscape Parks in Poland in the 21st Century
- Determination of the scale of landscape transformations and preparing a classification of landscape changes within landscape parks in Poland on the basis of comparative analyses of land cover maps for 2000, 2006, 2012, and 2018 for 123 landscape parks in Poland by using the Corine Land Cover (CLC) database.
- Determination of the LCI and evaluation of the usefulness of the CLC database for this purpose on the example of 12 landscape parks from the Lower Silesia region, which included both lowland, highland, and mountain landscape parks.
- Verification of changes in the landscape on the basis of methods used in social sciences.
- What type of landscape changes dominated during the three analyzed research periods (2000–2006, 2006–2012, 2012–2018) within the boundaries of landscape parks in Poland?
- Was the level of the landscape changes during particular periods the same?
- What was the intensity of landscape transformations within the 12 landscape parks in Lower Silesia?
- What is the usefulness of the CLC database relating to particular periods of time for the analysis of the changes and intensity of landscape transformations?
- Does the cyclical calculation of the landscape change index (LCI), on the basis of the CLC database for consecutive periods, allow for the monitoring of the intensity of landscape transformations?
- In this context, should social science methods be used to identify the perceived landscape changes?
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Study Areas
2.2. Identification of Landscape Changes in Landscape Parks
- transformations within forest landscapes;
- transformations of forest landscapes into non-forest landscapes;
- transformations of non-forest landscapes into forest landscapes;
- transformations within non-forest landscapes.
2.3. Intensity of Landscape Changes in Lower Silesian Landscape Parks
3.1. Landscape Changes in Landscape Parks in Poland
3.2. Intensity of Landscape Changes in Lower Silesian Landscape Parks
- Landscape parks protecting lowland river valleys
- Bystrzyca Valley Landscape Park: The interviewed person pointed out, as the most noticeable change in the non-forest landscapes of the whole area, that new areas of deposit mining have had the strongest impact on the landscape, especially those appearing in the last few years. The reason for this change is the rich deposits of sand and gravel in the river valley and the increased demand for this raw material. In the last few years there are also more and more residential development areas within the boundaries of the landscape park, especially in the northern part.
- Jezierzyca Valley Landscape Park: The interviewee confirmed that the most noticeable and significant changes were found in forest landscapes. The transformations were the destruction of the forest area as a result of a storm, which took place in 2009. In recent years, the most frequent changes of the non-forest landscapes into forest landscapes, related to the process of natural forest succession in abandoned areas, have been observed.
- Przemkowski Landscape Park: Transformations within forest landscapes, which relate to the process of the gradual overgrowing of heathland, with birches in the southern part of the landscape park, are noticeable during the whole period. For 10 years, there have been visible transformations of the non-forest landscapes into forest landscapes, associated with the afforestation of weak soils. The reason for this phenomenon is the availability of European Unionsubsidies for farmers. Since the beginning of the 21st century, a gradual overgrowth of ponds has been observed.
- Barycz Valley Landscape Park: The most noticeable changes in the landscape, observed by the interviewed person, took place within non-forest landscapes. At the beginning of the 21st century, the changes were connected with new fishponds, created in arable land, and the gradual transformation of arable land into meadows. The promotion of the Barycz valley, as a place of exceptional value by numerous local government organizations, has resulted in the intensification of landscape changes relating to new buildings and road infrastructure over the last 10 years.
- Landscape parks in highland areas
- Książański Landscape Park: The observed changes relate to transformations within both forest landscapes and non-forest landscapes. A noticeable phenomenon is the abandonment of arable land, which gradually became overgrown and was transformed into meadows. Some of them have been afforested. Since 2016, there has been an increase in deforestation as a result of the hydrological drought in 2015 and a pest attack. This resulted in a significant thinning of the forest. In the last five years, increased tourist traffic and new built-up areas have been observed.
- Bóbr Valley Landscape Park: The most frequently observed changes in the landscape are the transformation of non-forest landscapes into forest. The expansion of forests on abandoned arable land and former meadows, which gradually became overgrown as a result of the natural succession process, is observed. The number of small farms has decreased, and arable land has been merged. During the last 10 years, the tributaries of the Bóbr River have been regulated, and meadows have also been dried, which has contributed to a change in the water level in the Bóbr River.
- Ślężański Landscape Park: Two basic phenomena are observed in this park—transformations within non-forest landscapes and transformations within forest landscapes. An increased intensification of changes, resulting from the creation of new built-up areas at the foot of Ślęża and other smaller hills, was observed, mainly in the years 2000–2006. Nowadays, this phenomenon has been limited. The reason indicated by the interviewee is a significant increase in land prices. Since 2017, there has been a noticeable increase in tree harvesting as a result of the change in the law.
- “Chełmy” Landscape Park: Transformations relate mainly to non-forest landscapes. The most noticeable phenomenon is the abandonment of arable land, the cultivation of which, on fairly steep slopes, is becoming less and less profitable. These lands are gradually transformed into meadows. In the last five years, changes in the landscape relating to new built-up areas have intensified as a result of changes in the designation of land for development by the commune authorities.
- Landscape parks in mountain areas
- Sowie Mountains Landscape Park: Within this area, there are changes in the forest landscapes. The interviewee indicated the intensification of forest harvesting as a result of hydrological drought, which took place in the southern part of Lower Silesia in 2016.
- Sudety Wałbrzyskie Landscape Park: The most significant changes took place within the forest landscapes. The interviewee indicated the intensification of forest harvesting as a result of hydrological drought, which took place in the southern part of Lower Silesia in 2016. In recent years, there has been an expansion of the area and intensification of melaphyre extraction.
- Śnieżnicki Landscape Park: Within this area, increased forest harvesting as a result of hydrological drought, which took place in the southern part of Lower Silesia in 2016, was also indicated. In the last 10 years, there has been an intensification of changes related to the development of tourist infrastructure, especially in the region of the Black Mountain.
- Rudawski Landscape Park: Transformations relate mainly to non-forest landscapes. The most noticeable phenomenon is the development of new dispersed buildings in the areas of meadows, located on the slopes of hills. The area of the landscape park is a popular place for the location of recreational houses, owned by richer city dwellers. An abandonment of arable land, which gradually transforms into meadows, is also observed.
4.1. Intensity of Transformations and Processes in the Landscape Parks
4.2. The Use of Indicator Methods in Monitoring Landscape Changes
4.3. Limitations and Further Research Directions
- The greatest diversity of landscape changes in Polish landscape parks, in terms of both the number and area of changes, was recorded in the years 2012–2018. The vast majority of changes in each period took place within forest landscapes and involved temporary deforestation related to the management of forest resources and natural disasters in the forest.
- Analyses of all 123 landscape parks show the increasing intensity of landscape transformations in subsequent analyzed periods. The most intensive changes occurred in the period 2012–2018.
- The systematic increase in the intensity of landscape transformations was confirmed by detailed research within landscape parks in Lower Silesia. The value of LCI was higher for the period 2012–2018 than for period 2006–2012. Such a result was observed in 9 of 12 landscape parks in Lower Silesia. While the detailed research covered only 12 case studies, they were so diverse that it was possible to validate the use of the LCI in monitoring of transformations of different types of landscapes.
- Data on land cover, collected every six years within the CLC database, were used for the analyses. However, due to the accuracy of land cover mapping, its usefulness for monitoring landscape changes on a local scale is limited, especially for data from CLC 2000.
- Cyclical calculation of LCI on the basis of the CLC database allow to monitor landscape changes starting from 2006 because not all land cover categories are correctly classified in the data from the year 2000. In particular, they concern the built-up area of linear villages in the mountain area.
- It is important to include social science methods to fully understand landscape transformations. Individual oral interviews with the field workers with the longest work experience in landscape parks revealed the main driving forces of landscape change.
- Nevertheless, thanks to two methodological achievements—the development and use of the landscape change index to assess the intensity and monitoring of landscape transformations in comparative studies of 12 case studies, as well as the use of social studies on the perception of the intensity of landscape changes—the research provided a comprehensive picture of landscape change in landscape parks in the 21st century. In this way, the combination of methods applied in different areas of science has made it possible to gain a broader understanding of the extent of the changes and the driving forces that have caused them. The knowledge, obtained in this way, will make it possible to take measures to protect and anticipate changes in the landscape in the future and to assess the effectiveness of the implemented protective measures in the case of protected areas.
Conflicts of Interest
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|Name of the Landscape Park||Area [ha]||Main Landscape Character|
|Landscape park protecting the lowland river valley|
|Jezierzyca Valley Landscape Park||8066.2||The part of the lowland river valley covered mainly with broad-leaved forests and grassland, with some built-up and water areas in the center part of the park|
|Bystrzyca Valley Landscape Park||8584.9||The part of the lowland river valley covered mainly with broad-leaved forests and arable land, with a large water reservoir in the southern part of the park and built-up areas located on the edge of the park|
|Przemkowski Landscape Park||22,902.4||The part of the lowland river valley with a large area of conifer forests, grassland, wetland, a water reservoir, and some built-up areas in the northern part of the park|
|Barycz Valley Landscape Park (Lower Silesian part)||69,407.8||The part of the lowland river valley with a large area of conifer forests, grassland, a lot of old fishponds, and built-up areas evenly distributed throughout the area of the park|
|Landscape parks in the highland area|
|Książański Landscape Park||3071.7||Part of the mountain river valley with steep slopes covered with mixed forests with a low proportion of built-up areas|
|Ślęża Landscape Park||7678.3||The area of the Ślęża and Radunia mountains covered with coniferous forests and beechwood, with built-up areas at the foot of the mountain and numerous tourist facilities|
|Bóbr Valley Landscape Park||10,599.1||Part of the mountain river valley steep slopes covered with mixed forests, some water reservoirs and flat areas covered with arable land and built-up areas|
|Chełmy Landscape Park||15,752.0||Highland area covered with broad-leaved and mixed forests, large areas of arable land and some built-up areas|
|Landscape parks in the mountain area|
|Sudety Wałbrzyskie Landscape Park||6194.8||Mountain area almost all covered with conifer and mixed forests with a low proportion of other land cover types|
|Sowie Mountains Landscape Park||8157.6||Mountain area almost all covered with conifer and mixed forests with a low proportion of other land cover types|
|Rudawski Landscape Park||15,707.7||Mountain area covered with conifer and mixed forests, with a lot of grasslands and built-up areas evenly distributed throughout the area of the park|
|Śnieżnicki Landscape Park||27,606.3||Mountain area covered with conifer and mixed forests, with some grassland areas and arable land in the central and southern parts of the park|
|Type of Landscape Change||Code of Change||Subtype of Landscape Change||Type of Change in CLC Database|
Transformation within forest landscapes (temporary deforestation, natural disasters in forests, maturation of forests)
|A1||Temporary deforestation due to forest management or natural disasters in forests||311–324, 312–324, 313–321, 313–324, 312–313, 313–311|
|A2||Maturation of forest||324–311, 324–312, 324–313|
|A3||Transformation within scrub and herbaceous vegetation associations||321–324, 322–324|
Transformation from forest landscapes into non-forest landscapes (permanent deforestation)
|B1||Transformation from different types of forest into arable land, grassland, or open spaces with little vegetation||311–231, 312–211, 312–231, 312–331, 313–211, 324–211, 324–231, 324–243, 324–331|
|B2||Transformation from different types of forest into mining areas, construction sites, or built-up areas||311–112, 311–122, 311–131, 311–133, 311–142, 312–121, 312–122, 312–131, 312–133, 312–142, 313–122, 313–131, 313–133, 313–141, 313–142, 324–112, 324–122, 324–124, 324–142|
|B3||Transformation from forest or scrub and herbaceous vegetation associations into mining areas or construction sites||311–131, 321–133, 324–131, 324–133|
|B4||New water or wetland areas in forest landscapes||311–512, 312–411|
Transformation from non-forest landscapes into forest landscapes (afforestation, natural succession)
|C1||Natural succession and afforestation in mining areas, arable land, and open spaces with little or no vegetation||131–324, 211–324, 333–324, 334–324|
|C2||Transformation from meadows and pastures into forest or transitional woodland-shrub areas||231–312, 231–313, 231–324|
|C3||Transformation from heterogeneous agricultural areas into transitional woodland-shrub areas||242–324, 243–324, 243–311, 243–313, 243–312|
Transformation within non-forest landscapes (settlement growth, intensification and extensification of agriculture, drainage, re-wetting, and flooding)
|D1||New water or wetland area in non-forest landscapes||131–512, 133–512, 211–512, 231–512, 242–512, 243–512, 512–411|
|D2||Transformation between residential, industry, service, and transport areas||112–122, 112–133|
|D3||Transformation from mining areas and construction sites into built–up areas, grassland, or arable land||131–121, 131–211, 131–231, 133–112, 133–121, 133–122, 133–211|
|D4||Transformation from sport and leisure areas or water areas into built-up areas||142–121, 511–122|
|D5||Transformation from different types of arable land into residential, service, industry, or transport areas||211–112, 211–121, 211–122, 242–112, 242–122, 242–142, 243–112, 243–121, 243–122, 243–142|
|D6||New mining area or construction sites||211–131, 211–133, 231–131, 231–132, 231–133, 243–131, 243–133, 242–133|
|D7||Transformation from meadows and pastures into residential, industry, or transport areas||231–112, 231–121, 231–122, 231–121|
|D8||Transformation between different types of arable land and meadows, and pastures or open spaces with little vegetation||211–222, 211–231, 211–242, 211–243, 222–211, 222–231, 222–242, 231–211, 231–242, 243–231, 333–331|
|Land Cover Class||Main Components of the Landscape||Description of the Class in the Context of CLC Classes||CLC Code (Level 2)||CLC Code (Level 3)|
|Settlements||Residential area (RA)||Contains continuous and discontinuous urban fabric areas||11||111, 112|
|Industry, service, and transport area (ISTA)||Contains industrial, commercial, and transport areas||12||121, 122, 123, 124|
|Technological area (TA)||Contains mine, dump, and construction sites||13||131, 132, 133|
|Sport and leisure area (SLA)||Contains green urban areas and sport and leisure facilities||14||141, 142|
|Cropland||Agricultural land, agro-forestry systems (AL)||Contains all types of arable land and heterogeneous agricultural areas||21, 24||211, 212, 213, 241, 242, 243, 244|
|Grassland||Grasslands, pastures, open spaces with little vegetation (GP)||Contains natural grasslands, pastures, and sparsely vegetated areas||23, 32, 33||231, 321, 333|
|Forest||Forest area (FA)||Contains all types of forests||31||311, 312, 313|
|Forest succession area, forest nurseries (FSA)||Contains scrub and herbaceous vegetation associations||32||322, 323, 324|
|Wetland||Swamps, areas with steadily stagnant water (WET)||Contains inland and maritime wetlands||41, 42||411, 412, 421, 422, 423|
|Water||Rivers, lakes, fishponds, and other water areas (WA)||Contains inland and marine water areas||51, 52||511, 512, 521, 522, 523|
|Indicator of Change in Land Cover||Analyzed Period of Time|
|The number of identified types of land cover changes in CLC||46||63||73|
|The number of changed polygons||922||1594||2391|
|The area of change (ha)||13,559.4||32,653.5||39,926.1|
|The area of change per 1000 ha of the landscape park||4.93||10.15||13.00|
|Landscape Park||LCI||LCI 2000–2018||LCI 2006–2018|
|Landscape parks connected with the lowland river valley|
|Bystrzyca Valley Landscape Park||0.46||0.00||2.30||0.92||1.15|
|Jezierzyca Valley Landscape Park||2.29||11.18||2.20||5.22||6.69|
|Przemkowski Landscape Park||4.15||2.95||1.15||2.75||2.05|
|Barycz Valley Landscape Park (Lower Silesian part)||3.47||0.77||0.77||1.67||0.77|
|Landscape parks in the highland area|
|Książański Landscape Park||2.92||0.02||3.28||2.07||1.65|
|Bóbr Valley Landscape Park||6.03||0.61||0.64||2.43||0.63|
|Ślęża Landscape Park||0.68||0.00||3.93||1.54||1.97|
|“Chełmy” Landscape Park||1.41||0.68||3.89||1.99||2.28|
|Landscape parks in the mountain area|
|Sowie Mountains Landscape Park||2.23||0.42||1.72||1.46||1.07|
|Sudety Wałbrzyskie Landscape Park||1.45||1.05||11.01||4.50||6.03|
|Rudawski Landscape Park||9.71||0.12||6.67||5.50||3.40|
|Śnieżnicki Landscape Park||2.06||4.10||2.24||2.80||3.17|
|Average value for all landscape parks||3.07||1.83||3.32||2.74||2.57|
© 2019 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Krajewski, P. Monitoring of Landscape Transformations within Landscape Parks in Poland in the 21st Century. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2410. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082410
Krajewski P. Monitoring of Landscape Transformations within Landscape Parks in Poland in the 21st Century. Sustainability. 2019; 11(8):2410. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082410Chicago/Turabian Style
Krajewski, Piotr. 2019. "Monitoring of Landscape Transformations within Landscape Parks in Poland in the 21st Century" Sustainability 11, no. 8: 2410. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082410