DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017H/33/S14.058

APPLICATION OF LANDSCAPE METRICS IN THE PROCESS OF LANDSCAPE VULNERABILITY ANALYSIS

A. Zmire, D. T. Reljic, S. Butula
Thursday 23 November 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2017, www.sgemviennagreen.org, SGEM2017 Vienna GREEN Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-27-0 / ISSN 1314-2704, 27 - 29 November, 2017, Vol. 17, Issue 33, 465-472 pp; DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017H/33/S14.058

ABSTRACT

This paper presents the possibility of using landscape metrics in the process of modeling vulnerability analysis of landscape qualities that should be protected when considering spatial decisions about its future land use. Modeling was carried out on the lower part of Krka River basin, in the Mediterranean part of Croatia. This area is under protection as a significant landscape according to the Croatian Nature Protection Act and it was chosen due to heavy developmental pressures that have resulted and still threaten in degradation of its natural, visual and cultural qualities. For the purpose of this research landscape metrics were used as the basis for an objective quantitative evaluation of spatial structure of the landscape; as an indicator of its ecological condition and are prerequisites for the study of its function and change in a given time. Landscape metrics were specifically used in the process of landscape vulnerability assessment by multi-criteria analysis that is characteristic for the landscape planning process. This approach has provided a sub-model of vulnerability of ecological qualities of the landscape highlighting vulnerable areas that need to be protected regarding the potential degradations that could result from the development of intensive cultivation of permanent fruit crops. By adding the sub-model of vulnerability of ecological landscape qualities, obtained in this research, to the sub-models of vulnerability of natural, visual, cultural qualities and qualities of natural resources from previous research conducted in this area, the final model of landscape vulnerability was obtained. Models from previous and this research were then compared and it was determined that 49,04 % of the surface has changed and that the area was rated more vulnerable to development pressures than in the previous research. Landscape metrics represent an additional tool for landscape planners which enables criteria selection, which in turn assures objectivity, quantitative assessment and description of the ecological state of a landscape based on its structure. All this is aimed towards achieving objectivity when making decisions about future land use. This kind of approach prevents further degradation of a landscape due to the increasing developmental demands and also enables simpler monitoring of changes in the landscape structure.

Keywords: sustainable development and protection; landscape qualities; optimization; landscape metrics; multi-criteria analysis

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