Quantitative estimation of the composition of natural territories (steppe and forest sites) of the Shakhtersk district of Donetsk People’s Republic

Author(s):  Andrey A. Blackburn, candidate of Sciences, associate Professor, Donetsk Botanical Garden, Donetsk, Donetsk people's Republic, senior researcher of the Department of natural flora and conservation, blackburn.fox@mail.ru

Andrey L. Zolotoy, no, no, Public Institution «Donetsk Botanical Garden», Donetsk, Donetsk people's Republic, post-graduate student of the Department of natural flora and conservation, andreyzolotoy08@mail.ru

Issue:  Volume 43, № 3

Rubric:  Earth sciences

Annotation:  In order to pre-inventory the natural territories of the Donetsk People's Republic, a quantitative assessment was made of the spatial structure of two classes of natural areas (steppe and forest areas) of the Shakhtersk Administrative District. The spatial structure of the natural territories of these two classes was determined by the method of visual determination of the proposed natural territories using satellite images from the free access of the Sentinal-2 project and the QGIS computer program. Their main quantitative parameters were determined – area, average area, coherence, effective cell size, landscape irregularity index, on the basis of which the degree of fragmentation of steppe and forested territories of the region was estimated. On the basis of the data obtained, as well as the quantitative distribution of these classes of natural territories by areas, it is concluded that the spatial structure of the steppe territories is smoother than forest areas. Forest areas in this area are mostly represented by small areas, mostly linear forms – ravine forests and artificial forest belts. The presence of these types of natural territories is shown as part of specially protected natural territories (PNA) of the Shakhtersk District. In the structure of the PAs of the Shakhtersk District, the share of steppe and forest areas is approximately comparable to that for the entire territory of the district: the total area of the steppe areas is 1.6 times higher than that of the forest areas for the entire territory of the district; the total area of the steppe plots in the protected areas exceeds that for forest areas by 1.3 times. All this testifies to the fairly representative nature of these territories, taken under official protection.

Keywords:  natural area, ecological framework, ecological network, specially protected natural territory, territory fragmentation, coherence, effective mesh size.

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