The role of image classification based on multi-source, multi-temporal and multi-resolution remote sensed data is on the rise in the environmental studies due to the availability of new satellite sensors, easier access to aerial orthoimages and the automation of image analysis algorithms. The remote sensing technology provides accurate information on the spatial and temporal distribution of land use and land cover (LULC) classes. The presented study focuses on LULC change dynamics (especially secondary forest succession) that occurred between 1974 and 2010 in the Błędów Desert (an area of approx. 1210 ha; a unique refuge habitat – NATURA 2000; South Poland). The methods included: photointerpretation and on-screen digitalization of KH-9 CORONA (1974), aerial orthoimages (2009) and satellite images (LANDSAT 7 ETM+, 1999 and BlackBridge – RapidEye, 2010) and GIS spatial analyses. The results of the study have confirmed the high dynamic of the overgrowth process of the Błędów Desert by secondary forest and shrub vegetation. The bare soils covered 19.3% of the desert area in 1974, the initial vegetation and bush correspondingly 23.1% and 30.5%. In the years 2009/2010 the mentioned classes contained: the bare soils approx. 1.1%, the initial vegetation – 8.7% and bush – 15.8%. The performed classifications and GIS analyses confirmed a continuous increase in the area covered by forests, from 11.6% (KH-9) up to 24.2%, about 25 years later (LANDSAT 7) and in the following 11 years, has shown an increase up to 35.7% (RapidEye 2010).
Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) maps play an important role in an environmental modelling, and for many years efforts have been made to improve and streamline the expensive mapping process. The aim of the study was to create LULC maps of three selected water catchment areas in South Poland using a Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis (GEOBIA) in order to highlight the advantages of this innovative, semi-automatic method of image analysis. the classification workflow included: multi-stage and multi-scale analyses based on a data fusion approach. Input data consisted mainly of BlackBridge (RapidEye) high resolution satellite imagery, although for distinguishing particular LULC classes, additional satellite images (LANDSAT TM5) and GIS-vector data were used. Accuracy assessment of GEOBIA classification results varied from 0.83 to 0.87 (kappa), depending on the specific catchment area. The main recognized advantages of GEOBIA in the case study were: performing of multi-stage and multi-scale image classification using different features for specific LULC classes and the ability to using knowledge-based classification in conjunction with the data fusion approach in an efficient and reliable manner.
The primary objective of this study was to characterise the edaphic conditions of forest areas in the Pieniny National Park (PNP), and to describe the dependencies between properties of forest soils and types of forest plant communities. The “Soil Trophic Index” (SIGg) for mountainous areas was applied. The evaluation of the trophism for 74 forest monitoring employed the soil trophic index for mountainous areas SIGg or SIGgo. Plant communities in the forest monitoring areas were classified according to the Braun-Blanquet’s phytosociological method. Soils of PNP present in the forest monitoring areas were mostly classified as eutrophic brown soils (72.9%), rendzinas (10.8%), brown rendzinas (5.41%), and rubble initial soils (5.41%). Pararendzinas, dystrophic brown soils, and gley soils were less common (total below 5.5%). In the forest monitoring areas of PNP, eutrophic soils predominate over mesotrophic soils. High SIGg index of the soils is caused by high values of acidity and nitrogen content. The Carpathian beech forest Dentario glandulosae-Fagetum and thermophilic beech forest Carici albae-Fagetum associations are characterised by high naturalness and compatibility of theoretical habitats. The soils of the Carpathian fir forest Dentario glandulosae-Fagetum abietetosum subcommunity is characterised by a higher share of silt and clay particles and lower acidity as compared to the Carpathian beech forest Dentario glandulosae-Fagetum typicum subcommunity. The soils of the forest monitoring areas in PNP stand out in terms of their fertility against forest soils in other mountainous areas in Poland.
The aim of the research carried out in 2018 and financed by the Forest Fund was the analysis of biometric features and parameters of pine stands in the area of the “Bory Tucholskie” National Park (PNBT), where a program of active protection of lichen was initiated in 2017. Environmental analyses were conducted in relation to selected biometric features of trees and stands using laser scanning (LiDAR), including ULS (Unmanned Laser Scanning; RIEGL VUX-1) and TLS (Terrestrial Laser Scanning; FARO FOCUS 3D; X130). Thanks to the application of LiDAR technology, the structure of pine stands was precisely determined by means of a series of descriptive statistics characterizing the 3D spatial structure of vegetation. Using the Trees Crown Model (CHM), the analysis of the volume of tree crowns and the volume of space under canopy was performed. For the analysed sub-compartments, GIS solar analyses were carried out for the solar energy reaching the canopy and the ground level due to active protection of lichen. Multispectral photos were obtained using a specialized RedEdge-M camera (MicaSense) mounted on the UAV multi rotor platform Typhoon H520 (Yuneec). Flights with a thermal camera were also performed in order to detect places on the ground with high temperature. Plant indices: NDVI, NDRE, GNDVI and GRVI were also calculated for sub-compartments. The data obtained in 2017 and 2018 were the basis for spatial and temporal analyses of 4-D changes in stands which were related to the removal of some trees and organic layer (litter, moss layer).