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Zonal Concept: Landscape Level Parameters and Application

Authors
  • Dujka, Petr
  • Kusbach, Antonín
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Landscape Ecology
Publisher
De Gruyter Open Sp. z o.o.
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2023
Volume
16
Issue
2
Pages
24–49
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2478/jlecol-2023-0009
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Zonal concept is a traditional approach in land assessment. Although its principles have been known for over a hundred years, they have not yet been thoroughly evaluated using modern analytical approaches. Assessing the empirically established parameters for characterising a zonal site, establishing threshold values of significant environmental factors, along with assessing the applicability of the zonal concept, were the goals of this study. The data analysed were obtained from the robust and objective Czech National Forest Inventory database. Regression, indirect ordination, hierarchical clustering and spatial analyses of geo-information systems were used. The study revealed seven crucial environmental factors: Slope, Slope Height, Terrain Surface Texture, Negative Openness, Multi-Resolution Index of Valley Bottom Flatness, Soil Type and Soil Subtype. A graphical model of zonal/azonal sites was constructed based on calculated threshold values of the factors. This methodic approach introduces significant geomorphological information that are otherwise problematically detectable in field mapping. We suggest it is possible to use the zonal concept as a base layer for general landscape assessment. Zonal site classification can become a part of a precise land management practice, consisting of valuable empiricism of traditional landscape ecological classifications enriched by modelling in disturbance ecology and prediction of climate change effects.

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