GIS methods in monitoring of the succession processes in limestone and dolomite quarries in south part of Silesian Upland (South Poland)

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succession processes, inactive quarries, GIS methods, Silesian Upland, Jaworzno Hills
Polish Journal of Environmental Studies 2014
The complete destruction of primary vegetation and soil cover as a result of human activity is the most drastic example of disturbances in ecosystem functioning. Despite the fact that inactive limestone and dolomite quarries are relatively common in the southern part of the Silesian Upland (the Jaworzno Hills mesoregion), there are not many studies on the processes of transformation of landscape within them. The aim of our paper is to present preliminary results of research on overgrowing processes in the select objects using applied GIS methods. The studies show that differentiation of overgrowing processes in investigated quarries depend on the time that passed from the end of exploitation and of the type of surrounding landscapes. The major fragments of quarries were overgrown by species with a wide ecological spectrum, both herbaceous species (e.g. Calamagrostis epigejos) and pioneering trees (e.g. Betula pendula, Salix caprea). Additionally, especially on the edge of investigated quarries, plant communities form class Rhamno-Prunetea and grasses from Cirsio-Brachypodion pinnati union formed. In total, 145 species of vascular plants were identified, including 2 strictly protected and 7 partially protected taxons. Research is based on archival aerial photographs and the latest orthophotomaps from the 1950s to 2009. All cartographic materials were calibrated and registered in Poland CS92 coordinate system (EPSG: 2180). Registration and digitalization of vegetation patch ranges were conducted with applied MapInfo Professional software

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