of the landscape from the viewpoint of the structure’s durability, characteristics and speed of change. The research focused on the area surrounding Płock.
In the analysed period (1987-2010) slight changes were detected with regard to the land cover, though they were significant in terms of the natural environment. No single dominant process determining land cover change was identified. Fluctuations prevailed (producing a slightly different picture in each microregion), with a fixed pattern maintained. Distribution, shape and spatial location of land cover types are only partly determined by land lie and habitat quality. Fragmentation of the terrain is relatively high, which reflects intense land use, at the same time indicating opportunities to preserve the wildlife and vegetation typical for agrocenoses.
At present, geoecology-related discussions are focused on the ability to provide systematic and universal landscape description in a variety of space and time scales, as well as in different functional systems. This requires the development of landscape schemes in the form of hierarchical structural and functional systems. This paper has therefore focused on concepts of crucial importance for landscape system description, such as scale, spatial range and structure and landscape functioning. The definition of these concepts and their characteristics are crucial for the ability to describe a landscape system, in terms of its structural and functional composition and valuation, as well as assessment of landscape and ecosystem functions and services. Therefore, the analysis allows a demonstration of approaches discussed in the subject literature and the authors’ opinions.