Investigating landscape patterns in protected areas using aster images
Understanding the spatial structure of the areas with preserved nature is important for the support of their habitat function, which provides ecosystem values the maintenance of biological and genetic diversity. This study uses satellite image interpretation and GIS analysis tools to determine the main land cover classes, to evaluate their conservation value and the spatial structure of the habitats. The classification of the ASTER TERRA VNIR image results in the differentiation of the territory into 11 land cover types with particular distribution among the previously defined two landscape regions. Three land cover classes with high conservation value were assessed, another three have middle value, while the other five have low or no conservation value. Different landscape metrics were used to evaluate the spatial structure of the habitats and land cover classes with high conservation values. The results show that beech–hornbeam forests provide the best habitat conditions for interior species, while in oak-flowering ash and dry meadow classes they are under a higher threat. The results can be used to evaluate the level of threat to the habitat ecosystem services and further to contribute to the improvement of the environmental security.
Keywords: Landscape pattern; remote sensing; biological conservation, landscape metrics
KeywordsLand Cover Land Cover Type Landscape Pattern Beech Forest Land Cover Class
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