Year 2021, Volume 67 Issue 1 (31.03.2021)

Year : 2021
Volume : 67
Issue : 1 (31.03.2021)
Authors : Enkela HASA, Artan HYSA, Zydi TEQJA
Abstract : The assessment of landscape fragmentation (LF) in developing regions is vital to support sustainable decision making in managing the accelerating territorial transformations. Albania is a case where the territorial development processes exhibit extensive transformation rates of land use and land cover (LULC). Lack of measurements for the existing situation and the ongoing high rates of LULC alterations are alerting to act. First, for assessing the current fragmentation caused primarily by the road network and land use change, and second, for highlighting regions of significant importance for biodiversity protection. This study aims to address LF assessment by developing an analytical workflow of consecutive steps utilizing QGIS software. Furthermore, we aim to identify the existing degree of LF in Albania through quantitative results after defining key fragmenting geometries. Effective mesh size (meff) is selected as the landscape metric to be used in quantifying the assessment of LF in four levels. The materials of our study rely on open access geospatial data like, CORINE Land Cover, open street map, and digital elevation model, which are utilized as raw data of the analytical processes. At this stage the method is flexible enough to be applied in other developing regions. The results derived from meff calculation highlighted the extended influence of LF phenomenon, mainly caused by transportation infrastructure and agricultural areas. We push forward this method as a rapid quantitative landscape assessment technique to deliver reliable graphical and statistical results, which are of assistance to institutions responsible of decision-making processes in spatial planning and management in Albania and beyond.
For citation : Hasa, E., Hysa, A., Teqja, Z. (2021): Quantifying landscape fragmentation via effective mesh size landscape metric: case of Albania. Agriculture and Forestry, 67 (1): 215-230
Keywords : Albania, CORINE Land Cover, Effective mesh size, Landscape fragmentation, QGIS
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