Landscape transformations and risks for ecosystems of protected landscape areas in the Metropolitan Area of Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot
The article is devoted to the issues of ecological and landscape changes taking place in large spatial protected areas (landscape parks and protected landscape areas), located inside and in close proximity to the so-called functional zone of the Gdańsk-Gdynia-Sopot Metropolitan Area. The area is a metropolis with a population of 1.56 million inhabitants. In its central part, in the immediate vicinity (up to 25 km) from the borders of Tri-City, there are 4 landscape parks and 17 areas of protected landscape. High natural and landscape values determine the great interest in these areas, not only as a recreational space, but also as an area of realization of housing and service as well as production functions. The author draws attention to the lack of results of ecological and landscape research on a regional scale (especially in the immediate vicinity of a large, developing metropolis), evaluating the conservation status of protected areas, lack of reliable recognition of threats and the degree of changes in the environment of these areas as well as difficulties with their protection against investment pressure.Preservation of natural and landscape values of these areas is not a concern of local authorities focused on the economic development and the economic effects of how the communities function. As a result of investment pressures and irreversible impairment, many parts of them are eligible for exclusion from the borders of these areas. The degree of degradation and intensity of changes is a function of the distance from the most densely populated core of the metropolis, investment pressure and directions of urban development as well as natural characteristics of protected areas, predisposing them to fulfilling various functions. The article focuses, in particular, on selected areas of the protected landscape. They are covered by the weakest protective regime and are subject to the strongest changes.
- Department of Physical Geography and Environmental Management, Institute of Geography, Faculty of Oceanography and Geography, University of Gdansk, J. Blazynskiego St., 80-309 Gdansk, Poland
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