A Rewiew of the Forest Management History and Present State of the Haragistya Karst Plateau (Aggtelek Karst, Hungary)
The potential vegetation of Hungarian karsts is mainly mixed deciduous forest; consequently forest management is a key issue in the sustainable management of our karsts. In this study we attempt to describe on the example of the Haragistya karst plateau how the forests of the Aggtelek karst region were used in the last few centuries and to what extent they were affected by anthropogenic activity. Investigating change patterns in the context of land use history provides useful information for future management. For the analysis we used an integrated GIS of historical data (18th-19th century military maps, old forest management plans, aerial imagery etc.). Our study area, the Haragistya, is situated in the northern part of Aggtelek Mountains at 400-600 m above sea level. The forests of this karst plateau have been subject to significant human impact over the centuries. Anthropogenic influence gradually decreased over the 20th century and with the area being taken into state management the irregular and often exaggerated use has stopped.
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