Sinuosity and Edge Effect – Important Factors of Landscape Pattern and Diversity
Dagmar Stejskalová1, Petr Karásek1, Lenka Tlapáková2, Jana Podhrázská1
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1Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation, v.v.i., Lidická 25/27, Brno, 602 00, Czech Republic
2Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation, v.v.i., Boženy Němcové 231, Pardubice 530 02, Czech Republic
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2013;22(4):1177–1184
The paper is focused on two crucial landscape-forming aspects: linear elements (watercourses, linear tree plantings, road network) and neighbouring edges of landscape segments, or ecotones. Linear elements accentuate the character of landscape, its division, pattern, and contribute significantly to landscape passability and its diversity. The edges of neighbouring landscape segments not only create the spatial arrangement of landscape, but they also are important habitats for plants and animals. So they are irreplaceable for the maintenance of ecological stability of landscape and they are an important element of its biodiversity.
The analysis of trends of changes in the length of linear elements and ecotone edges was performed in three time horizons: in the first half of the 19th century, in the 1960s, and at the present time. The evaluation was done in four model territories. Ous paper evaluates the sinuosity of linear elements (roads and railways, watercourses, dirt roads, linear tree plantings) and the lengths of common borders of segments of arable land – permanent grasslands and arable land – forests.