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Title: The human impact on changes in the forest range of the Silesian Beskids (Western Carpathians)
Authors: Sobala, Michał
Rahmonov, Oimahmad
Keywords: forest transformation; forest cover; historical maps; pastoral management; land use; landscape changes; Western Carpathians
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: "Resources" (2020), iss. 12, art. no. 141, s. 1-20
Abstract: Changes in forest range are caused by human activity in many regions of the world. The aim of this paper is an attempt to determine the impact of pastoral and forest management on changes in forest cover and their fragmentation in the Silesian Beskids (southern Poland) in 1848–2015. Historical maps and landscape metrics were used to study changes in forest cover. Using a digital map of forests, analyses of the distribution of forest communities, site types and their condition were conducted. Since 1848 the forest area has increased by 11.8%, while the area of forest core zones has increased by 16.2%, accompanied by a 4.5% reduction in the forest’s internal bu er zone. From the mid-nineteenth century, the forest range has been systematically growing from 82.1 to 93.9% because of the pastureland abandonment and forest regeneration, despite temporary logging resulting in forest fragmentation. Minor changes in core area index (CAI) from 80.41 to 87.55 indicate that pastoral economy did not result in considerable fragmentation of forests. The impact of forest management was greater as the sites characterised by natural condition occupy only 28% of the forest land and anthropogenically transformed ones dominate occupying over 50%. An artificial spruce monoculture was died-o and large felling areas were created at the beginning of the twenty-first century covering almost 40% of the study area.
DOI: 10.3390/resources9120141
ISSN: 2079-9276
Appears in Collections:Artykuły (WNP)

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