Department of Landscape Ecology
Brief characteristics of the department’s research specialization:
- long term land use development in the Czech Republic based on old topographic maps and aerial photographs
- historical landscape structure with the help of landscape-ecological indices and coefficients
- impacts of main economic activities on ecological stability and biodiversity
- future landscape development in relation to biodiversity and climate change
- natural processes in the landscape and their application in the management of protected areas and landscape management
- ecological networks and their parts in relation to the ecological stability of the landscape
- landscape functions and ecosystem services
- analyses of spatial data and the creation of map outputs in geographical information systems.
The Department of Landscape Ecology and Geoinformatics owns a unique database of digital layers of land use from the timeframe between the 2nd Austrian military survey (1836 - 1852), 3rd Austrian military survey (1876 - 1880), 1950s (1952 - 1955), 1990s (1988 - 1995) and the beginning of the 21st century (2002 - 2006) as well as old topographical maps from these periods in digital form covering the territory of the Czech Republic. These layers are used for assessment of land use changes, identification of areas in stable usage as well as change trajectories and analysis of land use change processes etc. (for more information see http://www.zmeny-krajiny.cz). Impacts of the main economic activities upon the landscape and future potential landscape development are also researched within this theme.
Concerning research in nature conservation and landscape protection, the department has participated in the assessment of landscape permeability for large mammals, including proposals of protection and optimalization measures. Another project focused on the monitoring of Calamagrostis pseudophragmites as well as vegetation succession on gravel bars after river engineering works in the Ostravice River belonging to sites of community importance according to the Habitat Directive. In addition to the research mentioned previously, the development of biotopes in Hovoransko-Čejkovicko, which was declared according to Bird Directive as specially protected area, was also researched. The research in this area also included management intensity analysis and its impact on the presence of protected bird species.
The research of ecological networks concentrates predominantly on their functionality, connectivity, development and impact on the ecological stability of the surrounding landscape and ecosystem services that these networks provide. The research was conducted mainly within an international project dealing with ecological networks in Central Europe.
The most important and complex geoinformation as well as the cartographic project of the department is presented as The Landscape Atlas of the Czech Republic, which was both nationally and internationally awarded. The Landscape Atlas of the Czech Republic is the first complex atlas issued during the independent era of the Czech Republic. Maps at a scale of 1 : 500 000 are part of the Atlas for the first time. The benefit of the Atlas is represented through analytic and synthetic maps, created by modern cartographic and geoinformation tools. Other map outputs created at the department include maps stemming from long term land use development research (see research theme above) or maps of the elements’ concentration stemming from the cooperation with the Department of Biomonitoring (international project Biogeochemical exploration of forests as a basis for tlong-term landscape exploitation in the Czech Republic).