Habitat change

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LONG-TERM HABITAT CHANGES FROM THE 18TH CENTURY IN HUNGARY

INTRODUCTION | TREND DATABASE | STUDIED HABITATS | PILOT STUDY | KITAIBEL'S BOTANICAL DIARY(1796-1817) | DATA SOURCES AND USEFUL LINKS

INTRODUCTION

    The past is a reference not only for understanding the present landscape, but for planning or predicting the future. Most studies on landscape change apply land-cover or land-use categories, because the available sources of cartographical and remotely sensed material support this approach. In our study besides the long-term landscape changes we detected trends of certain key habitat types typical in the Pannonian biographical region.
    The research is supported by the project “Sustainable Conservation on Hungarian Natura 2000 Sites” within the framework of the Swiss Contribution Program (SH/4/8). Publications of our working group Natura 2000 habitat changes (WP2.2. - SH/4/8) are listed here.

    Detected 230 years long country-wide habitat trends and gained historical informations on habitats can be useful in practical management and conservation of valuable habitats and landscapes, especially the priority habitats of the European Union (Natura 2000).


INTRODUCTION | A TREND DATABASE | STUDIED HABITATS | PILOT STUDY | KITAIBEL'S BOTANICAL DIARY (1796-1817) | DATA SOURCES AND USEFUL LINKS

TREND DATABASE

    After the pilot study we applied the method on 5000 random point localities in the whole area of Hungary. To describe temporal changes at each locality (center of grid cells), we assembled a spatio-temporal point database. ArcGIS 10.1.ESRI software was used for managing datasets and maps and performing spatial analyses. We randomly selected the center of 5000 grid cells from the grid system (267 813 rekords ) of the MÉTA actual habitat database of Hungary (MTA ÖK ÖBI, www.novenyzetiterkep.hu). For choosing the studied time periods, we relied on cartographical sources broadly available and cover large areas as Military Surveys, Topographic Military Maps and satellite images.
    We analysed the trends of priority Natura 2000 habitats, especially wetlands and forest habitats, wooded pastures and some important dry grassland habitats. Natural, semi-natural or cultural landscape types were also classified into habitat types following the National Habitat Classification System (Á-NÉR).


INTRODUCTION | TREND DATABASE | STUDIED HABITATS | PILOT STUDY | KITAIBEL'S BOTANICAL DIARY (1796-1817) | DATA SOURCES AND USEFUL LINKS

STUDIED HABITATS

Natura 2000 habitats

  • 1530 - Pannonic salt steppes and salt marshes1530
  • 3150 - Natural eutrophic lakes with Magnopotamion or Hydrocharition-type vegetation3150
  • 6410 - Molinia meadows on calcareous soils6410
  • 6440 - Alluvial meadows of river valleys of the Cnidion dubii6440
  • 6210 - Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates6210
  • 6240 - Sub-pannonic steppic grasslands6240
  • 6250 - Pannonic loess steppic grasslands6250
  • 9130 - Asperulo-Fagetum beech forests9130
  • 91M0 - Pannonian-Balkanic turkey oak- sessile oak forests91M0
  • 91G0 - Pannonic woods with Quercus petraea and Carpinus betulus91G0
  • 91H0 - Pannonian woods with Quercus pubescens91H0
  • 9180 - Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines9180
  • 91E0 - Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior91E0
  • 91F0 - Riparian mixed forests of Quercus robur along the great rivers91F0
  • 91I0 - Euro-Siberian steppic woods with Quercus spp.91I0
  • 91N0 - Pannonic inland sand dune thicket (Junipero-Populetum albae)91N0

Á-NÉR habitats

  • D2 - Molinia meadows D2
  • D34 – Mesotrophic wet meadows D34
  • Ac – Euhydrophyte vegetation of naturally eutrophic and mesotrophic still waters AC
  • B1a – Eu- and mesotrophic reed and Typha beds B1a
  • B1b – Floating fens, oligotrophic reed and Typha beds of fens B1b
  • F1a – Artemisia salt steppes F1a
  • F1b – Achillea steppes on meadow solonetz F1b
  • F2 – Salt meadows F2
  • F3 – Tall-herb salt meadows and meadow-steppes F3
  • F4 – Dense and tall Puccinellia swards F4
  • F5 – Annual salt pioneer swards of steppes and lakes F5
  • G1 - Open sand steppes G1
  • H3a – Slope steppes on stony soils H3a
  • H4 – Semi-dry grasslands, forest-steppe meadows H4
  • H5a – Closed steppes on loess H5a
  • H5b – Closed sand steppes H5b
  • P2a – Wet and mesic pioneer scrub P2a
  • P2b – Dry and semi-dry pioneer scrub P2b
  • J2 – Swamp woodlands J2
  • J4 – Riverine willow-poplar woodlands J4
  • J5 – Riverine ash-alder woodlands J5
  • J6 – Riverine oak-elm-ash woodlands J6
  • K1a – Lowland oak-hornbeam woodlands K1a
  • K2 – Sessile oak-hornbeam woodlands K2
  • K5 – Beech woodlands K5
  • K7a – Acidofrequent beech woodlands K7a
  • K7b – Acidofrequent oak-hornbeam woodlands K7b
  • L2a – Pannonian-Balcanic Quercus cerris-Quercus petraea woodlands L2a
  • L2b – Quercus cerris-Quercus robur woodlands L2b
  • L2x – Closed mixed steppic aok woodlands on loess L2x
  • L5 – Closed lowland steppic oak woodlands L5
  • M3 – Open salt steppic oak forests M3
  • M4 – Open steppic oak forests on sand M4
  • M5 – Poplar-juniper sand dune forests and thickets M5
  • M2 – Open steppic oak forests on loess M2
  • M1 – Quercus pubescens scrub M1
  • L1 – Closed thermophilous Quercus pubescens woodlands L1
  • P45 – Wood pastures and Castanea sativa woods P45


INTRODUCTION | TREND DATABASE | STUDIED HABITATS | PILOT STUDY | KITAIBEL'S BOTANICAL DIARY (1796-1817) | DATA SOURCES AND USEFUL LINKS

PILOT STUDY

    A regional study was carried on for testing the methods of country-wide database building (Biró et al. 2013). For detection of habitat changes a 30 x 60 km study area was selected in the characteristic central part of the Danube–Tisza Interfluve. 360 localities from the centroids of MÉTA hexagons (Actual Habitat Database of Hungary, MTA ÖK) were selected.
    For choosing the studied time periods, we relied on cartographical sources broadly available and cover large areas as Military Surveys, Topographic Military Maps and satellite images e.g. the I. and III. Military Surveys (1780s, 1870s-1880s, Hadtörténeti Múzeum Térképtára, Budapest, Arcanum Kft).

    To describe temporal changes at each locality we assembled a spatio-temporal point database. To define exact locations of the localities had a particular importance. The stabile landscape elements (roads, railways, chanals) helped the this processe on a retrospective way. Points falling on arable land, vineyard-orchard, built-in area or tree plantation on the historical maps were characterized by the landcover types. Localities falling on natural or semi-natural landscapes were classified into habitat types following the National Habitat Classification System (Á-NÉR, Bölöni et al. 2012). For this classification, we used data on habitats and habitat qualities from the MÉTA actual habitat database, our own field data, and data from the actual habitat mapping of the Danube-Tisza Interfluve (Biró et al. 2006). ArcGIS 10.1.ESRI software was used for managing datasets and maps and performing spatial analyses.

    The types studied were as follows (Á-NÉR Habitat codes, Natura2000 Habitat codes): open sand grassland (G1, 6260 homoki gyep), closed sand steppe (H5b, 6260 homoki gyep), poplar-juniper scrub (M5, 91N0 nyáras-borókás), closed natural forest (M4, 91I0 Kontinentális erdőssztyepp-tölgyesek), mesotrophic wet meadow (D34, 6440 mocsárrét), Molinia meadow (D2, 6410 láprét), uncharacteristic meadow (OB, mostly dried out, species poor mesotrophic meadows), uncharacteristic dry grassland (OC, mostly secondary grasslands on sand), uncharacteristic dry grassland invaded by non-native trees (Robinia pseudacacia and Ailanthus altissima), marsh (B1a, B6, 1530 szikesek). After the pilot study we applied an improved identificating method on 5000 random point localities in the whole area of Hungary.


INTRODUCTION | TREND DATABASE | STUDIED HABITATS | PILOT STUDY | KITAIBEL'S BOTANICAL DIARY (1796-1817) | DATA SOURCES AND USEFUL LINKS

KITAIBEL'S BOTANICAL DIARY (1796-1817)

    It is essential to use historical sources of botany, forestry and geography during the estimation of former habitat categories, among which Kitaibel’s travel diary stands out by data richness and accuracy at the turn of the 18-19th century (between 1796 and 1817).
    By processing the botanical data found in the diary within the current boundaries of Hungary two databases were developed helping localization of sites of the diary. ArcGIS 10.1 ESRI software was used to develop the two GIS databases. Our basic sources have been the three volumes of the printed version of the diaries (Gombocz 1945 Diaria itinerum P. Kitaibelii. I.- II. Verl. Ung. Naturhist. Museums, Bp. 1–476, 477–1005; Lőkös 2001 Diaria itinerum P. Kitaibelii III., Hung. Nat. Hist. Museum, Bp. 460 pp). Databases had been developed during a research project for assessment the long-term habitat changes of Hungary (Swiss Contribution Program, SH/4/8).

    Routes of Pál Kitaibel’s journey have been reconstructed using the I. Military Survey (1782-85) showing the settlement and road system of that time. The database that can be displayed using any GIS software contains the interior tracks, the names and dates of all the 22 journies. In cases of different possible routeways alternative tracks are also indicated.
    Localities of Kitaibel’s plant species lists have been specified in a GIS point database. The table contains the number of species recorded, the description of the place (eg. im Walde), the name and date of the journey, the two settlements belonging to the record (from where to where), the volume and page number of the diary, and the accuracy of localization (very precise, well localizable, approximate, uncertain). The database have records of more than 2400 point localities of species lists. To accomplish this work beside the diary primarily the 1st and 2nd Military Surveys were used.


INTRODUCTION | TREND DATABASE | STUDIED HABITATS | PILOT STUDY | KITAIBEL'S BOTANICAL DIARY (1796-1817) | DATA SOURCES AND USEFUL LINKS

DATA SOURCES AND USEFUL LINKS