1. bookVolume 14 (2021): Issue 3 (December 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1805-4196
First Published
20 Jun 2008
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Landscape Changes of Rural Protected Landscape Areas in Czechia: From Arable Land to Permanent Grassland – From Old to New Unification?

Published Online: 18 Jan 2022
Page range: 88 - 109
Received: 26 Aug 2021
Accepted: 05 Oct 2021
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1805-4196
First Published
20 Jun 2008
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The Czech rural landscape is a subject of research because it is affected by both intensification and extensification of land cover. This landscape was influenced in recent decades by political and socio-economic changes; we studied how these changes were reflected in the land cover development in protected areas. We selected ten Protected landscape areas (PLAs) with a significant share of open agricultural landscape and focused on land cover changes from the 1950s till the present with four milestones (1950s, 1990, 2004-2006, 2016-2019). Based on vectorised land cover data, analyses of land cover changes, land cover flows and landscape structure were performed.

More than one third of the studied area had changed. Forests dominated and enlarged its extent (from 39 % to 47 %); land cover flow (LCF) from arable land to permanent grassland was the largest process during study period (17% of study area) and it expanded after 1990. Other major LCF is forest spreading on permanent grassland (5 %) and arable land (3 %).

Trends of landscape metrics describing landscape structure are ambiguous and differ between PLAs. In total, Shannon’s diversity index (SDI), Shannon’s evenness index (SEI), and Mean Patch Size (MPS) increased and Number of Patches (NumP) decreased. SDI and SEI show improvement through time; however increasing anthropogenic areas are considered as factor contributing to this positive trend, despite the negative role of these categories in ecological stability. MPS and NumP show ongoing homogenization and unification of the landscape; however it differs between PLAs, with some having more favourable conditions and trends towards higher landscape heterogeneity.

To conclude, homogenous landscape structure remains present in Czech rural PLAs; however, there has been a huge shift to more extensive agricultural land cover, which is similar to some European protected areas.

Keywords

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