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Changes in the Spatial Structure of the Landscape of Isolated Forest Complexes in the 19th and 20th Centuries and Their Potential Effects on Supporting Ecosystem Services Related to the Protection of Biodiversity Using the Example of the Niemodlin Forests (SW Poland)

Institute of Socio-Economic Geography and Spatial Management, University of Opole, 45-058 Opole, Poland
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Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4237; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104237
Received: 31 March 2020 / Revised: 20 May 2020 / Accepted: 20 May 2020 / Published: 21 May 2020
This study assesses the changes in the spatial structure of the landscape between 1825 and 2019 in the isolated, protected forest complex of the Niemodlin Forests. Based on the analysis of changes in this structure, a change the supporting ecosystem services related to the protection of biodiversity was proposed. The landscape metrics were used separately for the analysis of the structure of the whole landscape, and individual types of ecosystems were used in the research. There were no major changes in the share of individual types of ecosystems during the period under review. At the same time, a very large increase in built-up areas and tree stands was found in 1825. Landscape metrics point to internal changes in the landscape composition, which is important for the functioning of the landscape and is related to the fragmentation and increasing isolation of ecosystems. Changes in the share of the surface of individual types of ecosystems in the landscape do not provide enough information about the actual structural and functional changes and ongoing ecosystem support services. There has been ecosystem degradation that is associated with freshwater habitats—surface waters, marshlands, meadows and pastures, as well as ecosystem support services related to these habitats. Changes in the spatial structure of the landscape cannot be solely deduced on the basis of changes in landscape metrics that are calculated for the whole landscape. Changes in the spatial composition of individual groups of ecosystems should be analyzed. Landscape metrics are very helpful in studying changes in the structure and function of ecosystem services. View Full-Text
Keywords: landscape structure; landscape metrics; landscape changes; forest landscape structure; landscape metrics; landscape changes; forest
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Badora, K.; Wróbel, R. Changes in the Spatial Structure of the Landscape of Isolated Forest Complexes in the 19th and 20th Centuries and Their Potential Effects on Supporting Ecosystem Services Related to the Protection of Biodiversity Using the Example of the Niemodlin Forests (SW Poland). Sustainability 2020, 12, 4237.

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