Ionel POPA1,2, Mihaela BOBOC1
1 Centre of Mountain Economy “CE-MONT”, of the National Institute for Economic Research “Costin C. Kirițescu”, Romanian Academy, 49 Petreni Str., 725700, Vatra Dornei
2 National Institute for Research and Development in Forestry Marin Dracea, Campulung Moldovenesc, Romania
The expansion of wood species in meadows and mountain pastures can be considered a phenomenon that manifests itself globally, which has generated, in the last two decades, numerous scientific debates. This process is associated with the decline or even abandonment of traditional agricultural practices specific to mountain areas coupled with the favorable context for the installation of wood species at high altitudes generated by current climate change. In the present study, with the help of UAV (drone) systems, the mapping, monitoring and determination of the spatial distribution of wood species in the silvopastoral systems in the alpine area of the Eastern Carpathians was performed. The primary data on the spatial distribution of individuals in wood species were obtained by digitizing orthophoto plans generated based on flights performed with a DJI Phantom3 drone equipped with a camera. The study area is located on the southern slope of the Călimani Mountains (Eastern Carpathians), in a secondary succession represented by a compact mass of mountain pine (Pinus mugo) and juniper (Juniperus communis) with isolated trees of spruce (Picea abies). The analysis of the spatial distribution of spruce trees reveals an aggregate structure at distances greater than 5 m. The application of the models of statistical analysis of the spatial structure (functions F, G, J and L) highlighted the dominance of aggregate structures, the presence of regular structures being found only at small distances (1–5 m), generated mainly by the processes of mutual inhibition of shrubs of juniper and mountain pine, respectively spruce crowns. Knowledge of the spatial and temporal dynamics of changes that occur in the productive and ecological potential of pastoral ecosystems, is a fundamental condition for ensuring sustainable management.
Keywords: silvopastoral systems, drone, spatial distribution models, spruce