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Comparative assessment of public opinion on the landscape quality of two biosphere reserves in Europe.

Sowińska-Świerkosz B, Chmielewski TJ - Environ Manage (2014)

Bottom Line: In Poland, the implementation of the LQO concept was first undertaken in two regions with radically different landscape characteristics: (1) the West Polesie Biosphere Reserve and (2) the selected protected areas of the Roztocze-Solska Forest, nominated to the rank of a biosphere reserve.The first stage of the presented study was the recognition of public opinion on the quality of key features of landscape, based on a questionnaire (n = 470).The conducted comparative assessment revealed that it is possible to define a set of features fundamental to the quality of both areas and that representatives of local communities pointed out the same threats to the natural and cultural values of both regions investigated.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Landscape Ecology and Nature Conservation, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Dobrzańskiego 37, 20-262, Lublin, Poland, barbara.sowinska@wp.pl.

ABSTRACT
The European Landscape Convention (2000) obligates European Union countries to identify and implement landscape quality objectives (LQOs) understood as the specification of public expectations and preferences concerning the landscape of a given area, expressed by competent public authorities. The convention emphasizes the important role of local community representatives in this field. In Poland, the implementation of the LQO concept was first undertaken in two regions with radically different landscape characteristics: (1) the West Polesie Biosphere Reserve and (2) the selected protected areas of the Roztocze-Solska Forest, nominated to the rank of a biosphere reserve. The first stage of the presented study was the recognition of public opinion on the quality of key features of landscape, based on a questionnaire (n = 470). The primary objective of the study was to provide an answer to the following questions: (1) Whether similar social expectations regarding landscape quality exist in spite of radically different landscape characteristics of the regions investigated (landscape quality is understood as spatial arrangement, scenic beauty, and lack of environmental pollution); (2) which landscape features are considered to be most preservation worthy by the representatives of both local communities; and (3) What processes or development impacts pose the greatest threat to the landscape quality of both regions according to the public opinion? The conducted comparative assessment revealed that it is possible to define a set of features fundamental to the quality of both areas and that representatives of local communities pointed out the same threats to the natural and cultural values of both regions investigated.

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Typical rural landscape of the West Roztocze region
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Fig4: Typical rural landscape of the West Roztocze region

Mentions: The future Roztocze–Solska Forest BR covers an area of approx. 2,400 km2. It is located within two large European structural units: the east-European platform consolidated in the pre-cambrian era and the orogenic Paleozoic structures of western Europe. The region is also located within the European water division separating the Vistula river system with catchment area in the Baltic Sea from the Dniestr river system with catchment area in the Black Sea (Sowińska and Chmielewski 2011). It is predominantly covered with complexes of multi-species forest and a multi-stripe and multi-color field mosaic, with lines of numerous balks overgrown with a variety of weeds and numerous clusters of trees and shrubs (Fig. 3). The future biosphere reserve has a very diverse landscape. It is distinguished by the occurrence of loess uplands with a dense network of ravines, sloping carbonate hills, accumulation plains with dunes, and small river valleys (Fig. 4). The land use structure the projected BR includes: 55 % forests (among which 63 % are coniferous, 7 % deciduous, and 30 % mixed), 28 % fields, 8 % developed areas, 5 % grasslands, 3 % waters terrains, and 1 % peatbogs. Due to its ecotone location between the Roztocze and Biłgoraj plain, the BR has a unique abundance of flora. It provides natural habitat for over 900 species of vascular plants, present mainly in the forest and meadow-bog communities, including nearly 70 rare taxa and about 200 synanthropic species. Moss flora is represented here by nearly 200 species, mushrooms by over 1,000 species, and biota of lichens by about 300 species. With the exception of agrocenosis, more than 120 plant communities have been identified here. Equally rich and diverse are the fauna world of the planned Reserve. According to research, there are about 3,500 species of invertebrates and 372 of vertebrates (Chmielewski 2004). The land use structure of the Roztocze–Solska Forest region is very dynamic. They include the expansion of buildings over open fields, and the fields overgrowing with vegetation in some parts of the region. The system of protected areas of the future BR is composed of the Roztocze National Park, four landscape parks, 15 nature reserves, 19 Natura sites, one landscape protected area, and more than 30 ecological lands (Sowińska and Chmielewski 2011).Fig. 4


Comparative assessment of public opinion on the landscape quality of two biosphere reserves in Europe.

Sowińska-Świerkosz B, Chmielewski TJ - Environ Manage (2014)

Typical rural landscape of the West Roztocze region
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4129239&req=5

Fig4: Typical rural landscape of the West Roztocze region
Mentions: The future Roztocze–Solska Forest BR covers an area of approx. 2,400 km2. It is located within two large European structural units: the east-European platform consolidated in the pre-cambrian era and the orogenic Paleozoic structures of western Europe. The region is also located within the European water division separating the Vistula river system with catchment area in the Baltic Sea from the Dniestr river system with catchment area in the Black Sea (Sowińska and Chmielewski 2011). It is predominantly covered with complexes of multi-species forest and a multi-stripe and multi-color field mosaic, with lines of numerous balks overgrown with a variety of weeds and numerous clusters of trees and shrubs (Fig. 3). The future biosphere reserve has a very diverse landscape. It is distinguished by the occurrence of loess uplands with a dense network of ravines, sloping carbonate hills, accumulation plains with dunes, and small river valleys (Fig. 4). The land use structure the projected BR includes: 55 % forests (among which 63 % are coniferous, 7 % deciduous, and 30 % mixed), 28 % fields, 8 % developed areas, 5 % grasslands, 3 % waters terrains, and 1 % peatbogs. Due to its ecotone location between the Roztocze and Biłgoraj plain, the BR has a unique abundance of flora. It provides natural habitat for over 900 species of vascular plants, present mainly in the forest and meadow-bog communities, including nearly 70 rare taxa and about 200 synanthropic species. Moss flora is represented here by nearly 200 species, mushrooms by over 1,000 species, and biota of lichens by about 300 species. With the exception of agrocenosis, more than 120 plant communities have been identified here. Equally rich and diverse are the fauna world of the planned Reserve. According to research, there are about 3,500 species of invertebrates and 372 of vertebrates (Chmielewski 2004). The land use structure of the Roztocze–Solska Forest region is very dynamic. They include the expansion of buildings over open fields, and the fields overgrowing with vegetation in some parts of the region. The system of protected areas of the future BR is composed of the Roztocze National Park, four landscape parks, 15 nature reserves, 19 Natura sites, one landscape protected area, and more than 30 ecological lands (Sowińska and Chmielewski 2011).Fig. 4

Bottom Line: In Poland, the implementation of the LQO concept was first undertaken in two regions with radically different landscape characteristics: (1) the West Polesie Biosphere Reserve and (2) the selected protected areas of the Roztocze-Solska Forest, nominated to the rank of a biosphere reserve.The first stage of the presented study was the recognition of public opinion on the quality of key features of landscape, based on a questionnaire (n = 470).The conducted comparative assessment revealed that it is possible to define a set of features fundamental to the quality of both areas and that representatives of local communities pointed out the same threats to the natural and cultural values of both regions investigated.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Landscape Ecology and Nature Conservation, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Dobrzańskiego 37, 20-262, Lublin, Poland, barbara.sowinska@wp.pl.

ABSTRACT
The European Landscape Convention (2000) obligates European Union countries to identify and implement landscape quality objectives (LQOs) understood as the specification of public expectations and preferences concerning the landscape of a given area, expressed by competent public authorities. The convention emphasizes the important role of local community representatives in this field. In Poland, the implementation of the LQO concept was first undertaken in two regions with radically different landscape characteristics: (1) the West Polesie Biosphere Reserve and (2) the selected protected areas of the Roztocze-Solska Forest, nominated to the rank of a biosphere reserve. The first stage of the presented study was the recognition of public opinion on the quality of key features of landscape, based on a questionnaire (n = 470). The primary objective of the study was to provide an answer to the following questions: (1) Whether similar social expectations regarding landscape quality exist in spite of radically different landscape characteristics of the regions investigated (landscape quality is understood as spatial arrangement, scenic beauty, and lack of environmental pollution); (2) which landscape features are considered to be most preservation worthy by the representatives of both local communities; and (3) What processes or development impacts pose the greatest threat to the landscape quality of both regions according to the public opinion? The conducted comparative assessment revealed that it is possible to define a set of features fundamental to the quality of both areas and that representatives of local communities pointed out the same threats to the natural and cultural values of both regions investigated.

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