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You are here: Home » Latest Issue » Volume 12, 2017 - Number 2 » LAND COVER CHANGES IN THE POLISH CARPATHIANS BASED ON REPEAT PHOTOGRAPHY


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Dominik KAIM
Institute of Geography and Spatial Management, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, e-mail: dkaim@gis.geo.uj.edu.pl

LAND COVER CHANGES IN THE POLISH CARPATHIANS BASED ON REPEAT PHOTOGRAPHY

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Abstract:

Ground-based repeat photography was used to assess changes in land cover and land use in selected areas of the Polish Carpathians. A set of 100 photo pairs was used in the study. Archival photographs were taken from 1875-1975 and were repeated by the author between 2008 and 2012. Photo pairs were analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively. While the qualitative analysis showed the patterns of the changes, the quantitative approach provided estimates of the rates of land cover change. The results showed that abandonment of agricultural land is the main process associated with land use and land cover change in the study area. This process led to either an increase in the forested area or the spread of settlements. The highest annual forest rate of change was recorded in urban areas (median = 0.99%), while rural areas exhibited a slightly lower value (0.84%) and uninhabited areas displayed a substantially lower value (0.39%). The detailed scale of the investigation also showed that non-forest woody greening commonly occurred in the Polish Carpathians. Vegetative growth was observed in valley bottoms, along rivers and streams, and in towns and villages. This study suggests that ground-based repeat photography is a valuable research method for land use and land cover change analyses in mountainous areas.


Keyword: ground-based repeat photography, land use/land cover change, the Polish Carpathians, archival photography


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