Mapping of the Land Cover Changes in High Mountains of Western Carpathians between 1990–2018: Case Study of the Low Tatras National Park (Slovakia) | Land Portal
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Date of publication: 
December 2020
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© 2020 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

At present, the protection of nature and landscape in the high mountains of the Western Carpathians, protected as national parks, is becoming increasingly at the forefront of society’s interests in connection with the development of their economic use and the development of mass tourism. Our research was focused on analyzing the extent and character of land cover changes in the Low Tatras National Park in Slovakia over the last 30 years (1990–2018) using CORINE land cover (CLC) data. The period captures almost the entire existence of the Slovak Republic. Therefore, it was possible to evaluate the landscape changes in the protected area and to identify barriers and possibilities of its long-term sustainable development. Based on computer modeling, the main areas of the land cover changes were identified, and on the basis of historical-geographical and field research, land cover flows were determined and justified in the studied landscape of the national park. Changes were monitored using three methods: by comparing CLC maps over the years, by analyzing land cover flows, and by comparing landscape metrics obtained through the PatchAnalyst. Land cover changes occurred on up to 20% of the national park area in the given period. The most significant change was observed in the CLC class coniferous forests, with almost a 12% decrease. Conversely, there was an increase of more than 11% in the CLC class transitional woodland-shrub.

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Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 
Žoncová, Michaela Hronček, Pavel Gregorová, Bohuslava

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