Afforestation of heathlands and its influence on the land cover, accumulation of plant biomass and energy flow in the landscape: An example from Zaborski Landscape Park
Keywordsecological history, forestry, heathlands, landscape structure, energy flow network, sheep-farming, forest-stand biomass, Pomerania
In the mid-19th century, the sheep industry played a considerable part in sheep breeding in Pomerania. Livestock grazing took place on extensive heathlands developed as a result of land deforestation performed in the 17th and 18th century, as well as during and after the Napoleonic wars. The sheep industry and the related textile craft developed until the 1890s when the Prussian government began the restoration of forests after the period of their excessive exploitation. The Prussian government policy contributed to the afforestation and the growing forest range through purchasing of landed estates, in particular the Polish ones, and creating forest divisions, followed by reconstruction of forests. This paper presents the history of the Widno estate belonging to Mr. Konstanty Przytarski. The estate was located in the northern part of the present-day Zaborski Landscape Park, near the town of Brusy and Chojnice. In 1894, the estate was sold to the Prussian forest administration. The paper presents changes in the land use and the forest above-ground biomass. Furthermore, changes in the structure of the energy flow network through the natural and production-cultural subsystems are presented. The network structure was analysed according to the methodology presented by H.T. Odum. Data contained in the sales contract of the Widno estate were used in the analysis, together with a forest inventory book of the Prussian Forest Inspectorate Zwangshoff and inventory books of the Polish Inspectorate Przymuszewo. The study highlighted the increasing role of sheep breeding on small family farms established by employees of the forest division on the leased lands. This form of activity refers to the economic traditions in the region of Zabory.
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