2013. március 14., csütörtök

Varga et al. (2013) Regional Environmental Change

Katalin Varga, György Dévai, Béla Tóthmérész (2013): Land use history of a floodplain area during the last 200 years in the Upper-Tisza region (Hungary). Regional Environmental Change

Research into landscape history makes it possible to follow landscape changes in the past and support landscape management, conservation and restoration programs. Floodplain habitats are lost, isolated and fragmented on account of land use. Nowadays, these habitats are threatened by modifications in the natural water regime, as well as agricultural and forestry practices. Floodplains have great importance because they provide a transition between aquatic habitats and terrestrial biotopes. Our analysis of aerial photographs and topographical maps revealed that the major predicted changes in the study area are related to agricultural abandonment and afforestation. The comparison of land cover maps from 1784 to 2005 showed intensification of agriculture with land cover conversions from arable land and orchards to grasslands, marshes and woodlands. The land use types that are mostly responsible for the fragmentation of the landscape are arable land, economic plantations and orchards. We found that fragmentation was greater after 1956. This was caused by socioeconomic changes and showed that the habitats of floodplains have changed intensively during the last 200 years. Knowledge of this last 200 years of history contributes to a more careful and wiser management of the region through biodiversity protection and environmental development.

Landscape change, Habitat map, GIS, MESH, Nearest neighbor, DIVISION

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