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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the spatial structure of vegetation on the repository of the mine “Fryderyk” in Tarnowskie Góry. Tested area was located in the Upper Silesian Industrial Region (a large industrial region in Poland). It was a unique refuge habitat – Natura2000; PLH240008. The main aspect of this elaboration was to investigate the possible use of geotechniques and generally available geodata for mapping LULC changes and determining the spatial structure of vegetation. The presented study focuses on the analysis of a spatial structure of vegetation in the research area. This exploration was based on aerial images and orthophotomaps from 1947, 1998, 2003, 2009, 2011 and airborne laser scanning data (2011, ISOK project). Forest succession changes which occurred between 1947 and 2011 were analysed. The selected features of vegetation overgrowing spoil heap “Fryderyk” was determined. The results demonstrated a gradual succession of greenery on soil heap. In 1947, 84% of this area was covered by low vegetation. Tree expansion was proceeding in the westerly and northwest direction. In 2011 this canopy layer covered almost 50% of the research area. Parameters such as height of vegetation, crowns length and cover density were calculated by an airborne laser scanning data. These analyses indicated significant diversity in vertical and horizontal structures of vegetation. The study presents some capacities to use airborne laser scanning for an impartial evaluation of the structure of vegetation.
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Keywords ALS nDSM LULC changes

Abstract

The purpose of the study was an assessment of LiDAR point clouds for automating the mapping of land use and land cover changes, mainly land abandonment and the process of secondary forest succession. Detailed information about land cover was determined based on airborne laser scanning data. The presented study focuses on the analysis of the spatial range and structure of vegetation. The study area was located in Milicz district in the voivodeship of Lower Silesia – the central west part of Poland. The areas of interest were parcels where agricultural land had been abandoned and forest succession processes had progressed. Analysis of the spatial range of the secondary forest succession was carried out using a reclassified nDSM. Reclassification of the nDSM was done using > 1 m, > 2 m and > 3 m for the pixel values, representing the height of vegetation above the ground. Parameters such as height of vegetation, standard deviation of height and cover density were calculated, to show the process of the increase in forest succession on abandoned agricultural land. The results confirmed a discrepancy between the cadastral data and the actual use of the plots. In the study area, more than three times as much forested and wooded area was detected than had been recorded in official databases. Analyses based on airborne laser scanning point clouds indicated significant diversity in the vertical and horizontal structure of vegetation. The results demonstrated gradual succession of greenery in the research area.
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