Journal article Open Access

Modeling potential tree belt functions in rural landscapes using a new GIS tool

Nowak, Maciej Marcin; Pędziwiatr, Katarzyna

The increasing human pressure on the environment requires effective protection activities. One way to stop the degradation of natural resources is the presence of woody vegetation networks, mainly linear in character, called linear woody features, greenways or tree belts. These objects, thanks to the many natural and economic functions they serve, enable the realization of sustainable development policy. To properly design a greenway network, the natural conditions and degree of environmental degradation in a given area must first be evaluated. Based on these data, it is possible to determine appropriate afforestation needs. To evaluate the ability of a given area to meet the requirements of greenway functions, we propose a new computer modeling system – a tree belt modeling (TBM). TBM defines the availability of tree belt functions in the planned network and is one of preparation stages in the design of an optimal greenway structure. In this work, to analyze the studied area potential, application of a cadastral dataset was proposed. Thanks to this approach, the obtained results may be related to specific plot borders, which is optimal for greenway construction. To automatize the process of analysis, the TBM was implemented into an ArcGIS toolbox. The result of using this toolbox is a tree belt functions geodatabase. This database contains information about the available functions in the analyzed lines that are potential sites for afforestation. This solution, both at the methodological and technological levels, may significantly increase the effectiveness of greenway planning and thus contribute to more effective activities for sustainable development.

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  • Nowak, Maciej Marcin and Pędziwiatr Katarzyna (2018) Modeling potential tree belt functions in rural landscapes using a new GIS tool. doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.03.118

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