FORECOM: Forest cover changes in mountainous regions – drivers, trajectories and implications
Research project supported by the Swiss Cooperation Programme of the new member states of the European Union
The FORECOM project aims to improve understanding of past, present and future forest cover changes in the Swiss Alps and the Polish Carpathians in the context of land use and climate changes. In the project we plan first to identify trends in forest cover change over the past 150 years for the Polish Carpathians and the Swiss Alps. Then we intend to quantify relative contributions of climate and land use to the past forest cover change and to develop combined climate and land use change scenarios for projecting future forest cover change. Our final goal is to assess important implications of forest cover change: potential impacts on biodiversity and trends in forest carbon pools, adding in this way to the current debates on human drivers of the global climate change.
more information at: http://www.gis.geo.uj.edu.pl/FORECOM/index.html
LIM: Integration of categorical- and gradient-based approaches in landscape fragmentation and connectivity modelling using GIS&T (2011/03/D/ST10/05568)
Research project supported by the National Science Centre
Landscape spatial structure analysis and modelling are crucial for understanding the underlying ecological processes and their dynamics. Most of quantitative methods which are used in modern landscape ecology to quantify landscape spatial structure and to assess landscape/habitat fragmentation and connectivity, are based on categorical (discrete) representation of landscape heterogeneity (mainly patch-based models). However, categorization (which is often subjective) obscures all internal heterogeneity of discrete landscape structures and could lead to losses of important ecological information. Therefore, currently an emerging issue in landscape and ecological studies is an alternative representation of landscape spatial pattern - landscape gradient (continuous) models. They are assumed to accurately represent continuous spatial heterogeneity, in this way helping for better understanding of pattern-process relationships. The integration of these two different approaches into one coherent model could even more increase accuracy of landscape structure representation and then assessment of landscape fragmentation and connectivity, crucial in ecological and biodiversity studies.
200 years of land use and land cover changes and their driving forces in the Carpathian Basin
Research project supported by NASA
The aim of the project is to study long-term agricultural change in the Carpathian Basin (i.e., the Pannonian Plain and the Carpathian Mountains) in Central and Eastern Europe, a region that has been dominated by agriculture for centuries and that has experienced several major socio-economic transformations during the 19th and 20th centuries (i.e., World War I and the demise of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy; World War II; the rise and fall of socialism; and the eastward expansion of the European Union). These socio-economic transformations have triggered drastic land use change, rendering the region a hotspot of agricultural land use change. We will improve understanding of patterns of agricultural LCLUC in a rapidly transforming region and we will provide novel insights into dynamics of agricultural land use systems in response to major shifts in institutional, economic and societal conditions. Our overarching goal is to quantify long-term and recent agricultural land cover and land use change (LCLUC) in the Carpathian Basin and to understand its underlying causes. These analyses will provide a better understanding of how socioeconomic shocks and rapid institutional transformation affect agricultural land use systems, and will substantially improve knowledge about non-linearities and tipping points in land use transitions.
more information at: https://c3.nasa.gov/nex/projects/1200/
Acquisition, analysis and visualisation of geographic data in the studies of human - environmental systems
Research project supported by regional budget fund - Doctus
Airborne Laser Scanning as a tool to measure the volume of vegetation in floodplains
The main aim of the project is to create model to assess volume of vegetation using Airborne Laser Scanning. Main application of the method is to monitor growth of the vegetation in floodplains and improve maintenance activities. It will also allow to indicate places where shrubs should be cut.
The project deals with analyses of landscape models, both categorized and continuous (gradient), in terms of landscape connectivity and fragmentation. The main goal is to develop a new approach regarding gradient models of landscape structure, which could be promising for better understanding of landscape pattern-process relationships. Theories from the field of physics and mathematics will be implemented, such as surface metrology, entropy modeling or network analyses (e.g. graph theory).
The main purpose of the project is to develop and evaluate methods of image processing for building cartographic models of high mountains areas. It involves evaluation of global remote sensing data and methods of processing those data in terms of cartographic models building, advantages and drawbacks analysis of that models and application of automatic methods of cartographic design.
Small research projects for PhD students and young scientists supported by the Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences at the Jagiellonian University
The main objective of this project is to assess forest fragmentation in the Carpathians base on different landscape metrics and models with use of GIS&T.
The use of traditional, terrestrial photography enables conducting land use and land cover research of much longer periods than aerial or satellite images. The integration of archival photography with other remote sensing data and digital elevation models gives a possibility to study land use transitions over the years, maintaining a greater accuracy than in case of the archival cartographic materials. In contrast to the maps, photographs are also a source of raw data, which also makes them attractive as primary research material. What's more, the historical ground-based images are relatively easily accessible and cheap data source. Their great advantage, acting undoubted advantage over aerial or satellite images is the fact that it can be easily understanding by non-specialists, what allows a much wider use. The project focuses on the analysis of changes in land cover and land use in the vicinity of Krynica. As an important center of tourism in the Carpathians in the past and nowadays it offers an easy access to archival photo resources.
The main objectives of the project are: to develop methodology of integration altitude information obtained by means of terrestrial photogrammetry and terrestrial laser scanning and methodology of digital relief modeling of steep slopes and rock walls. The approach used in computer graphics and CAD modeling that enable reconstruction of 3D objects. In the project, an attempt was made to integrate terrestrial and aerial data, in order to build digital terrain models (DTMs) for large areas. Various methods of visualization of the generated DTMs were proposed, as well as potential areas where the developed methodology can be implemented, especially in changes monitoring in mountains. The study areas were located in the Polish Tatra Mountains.
The aim of the project is to work out an approach which improves accuracy of assessment of forest cover conversion (natural succession, afforestation, deforestation) and modification - changes in forest type and state - with use of dense stacks of satellite images in the mountain areas.