The influence of landscape management changes on landscape structure in the White Carpathian Mts. (Czech and Slovak Republic)

Authors and Affiliations: 

Katarína Demková1, Zdeněk Lipský1, Martin Hais2

1Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2, Czech Republic

2University of South Bohemian University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology of Ecosystems, Branišovská 21, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic


The grant project concerns with influence of landscape management on the structure of non-forest woody vegetation (NFWV) on the Czech and the Slovak side of south-western part of the White Carpathian Mts. from 1949 till present. NFWV, one of the landscape features typical for agricultural (rural) landscape, is stable woody vegetation including the herbal floor, which is neither a forest, agricultural crop, nor, a part of vegetation of built-up areas in municipalities or in landscape. Natural elements growing spontaneously as well as vegetation planted by human are included (Bulíř, Škorpík 1987; Machovec 1994). Areas of trees and/or shrubs smaller than 0.3 ha, linear vegetation and solitaires or groups of trees/shrubs are considered to be NFWV (e.g. groves, alleys, linear vegetation accompanying water streams, roads and railways, vegetation on abandoned areas or places not suitable for agricultural use etc.).

NFWV is very important, especially ecologically as wildlife habitats, corridors and refuges (McCollin et al. 2000; Dover, Sparks 2000), for its role in erosion control (Merot 1999), microclimatic function, as boundary markers or as fruit resource. From landscape-ecological point of view, it has a positive influence on visual aspects of a landscape structure. Therefore it is one of determining features in the process of the landscape character assessment (Vorel 1999, 2007; Flekalová 2010).

The main aim of the project is to investigate the influence of management measures on landscape structure (in terms of NFWV) of the White Carpathian Mts. on both sides of the state boundary and the difference between the Czech and Slovak part. Partial aims are following:
(1) How has the landscape management changed since 1949 and what impact does it have on the landscape structure in connection with NFWV?

(2) Is there any influence on landscape changes in consequence of the division of the Czechoslovakia?

(3) Is there any difference in management and landscape structure between the Landscape Protection Area (LPA) White Carpathian Mts. (declared in 1979) and the rest of the study area?

For this purpose three time horizons were chosen – 1949 (the oldest historical aerial photos available for the study area), 1986 (historical aerial photos available after declaring the LPA White Carpathian Mts. and before division of the Czechoslovakia) and the current state verified in the field during 2011/2012.

NFWV was visualized manually according to size parameters on the ground of aerial photos. After that, landscape-ecological parameters such as vegetation density, mosaic index, degree of distribution, index of edge effect etc. are counted in all three time horizons. In the next step, management manners and financial support of care and maintenance of NFWV will be surveyed. Besides time development and comparison of landscape-ecological parameters between the Czech and Slovak side, influence of potential management changes on NFWV will be investigated (using appropriate statistical analysis).


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