Forest cover dynamics in the Ukrainian Carpathians during 1988‒2007: A geomaticsbased geoecological analysis

I. Kruhlov, T. Kuemmerle, O. Chaskovsky, J. Knorn, V. Radeloff, P. Hostert
2019 Visnyk of the Lviv University. Series Geography  
Landsat TM/ETM+ images covering the whole Ukrainian section of the Carpathian Ecoregion and representing four time periods (1988–1989, 1994, 2000–2002, 2006–2007) were processed using SVM-classification and overlaid to detect changes in forest cover. The changes were analysed for the whole study area, for 33 individual meso-ecoregions and their seven orographic classes as well as for the 14 main river basins. The study showed decrease of forest disturbances, mainly caused by clear-cuttings,
more » ... r 1988 and their slight increase after 2000 together with a significant increase of new forest succession areas. The obtained indices differ from those previously mentioned in Ukrainian publications. The distribution of the forest cover and its disturbances across the ecoregions and the basins reveals generally sustainable pattern – the stable forest cover increases with the growth of mean relative and absolute elevations. Relatively high recent disturbance rates in some meso-ecoregions, especially of low- and medium-mountains, are possibly caused by massive die-back of cultural spruce stands. However, it is not expedient to further increase the forest cover of the river basins and the region in general. Key words: Ukrainian Carpathians, forest cover change, remote sensing, ecoregions, river basins.
doi:10.30970/vgg.2013.46.1473 fatcat:zysjpqwudbcojfhehn7afo7isu