Adam Łajczak

Articles

Economic use of the Babia Góra Massif and the assessment of anthropogenic changes in the course of the timberline

Adam Łajczak, Tomasz Lamorski

Geographia Polonica (2015) vol. 88, iss. 2, pp. 115-138 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/GPol.0019

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Abstract:

In Poland’s Babia Góra Massif (the most elevated ridge in the Western Flysch Carpathians), and in the surrounding valleys, various kinds of economic use of natural resources have been engaged in the last 600 years or more. However, the most major changes in the natural environment here have taken place under the influence of grazing and forestry. Some such economic uses already represent forms of human activity that are now history, their cessation being the prerequisite for a regeneration of vegetation that is now ongoing. One of the most visible effects of past grazing is a lowered timberline first and foremost coinciding with the more accessible southern slope of the massif. In turn, on a small part of the steep northern slope degraded by grazing, avalanches have become active, along with debris flows of earlier times, both of which also served to fragment forest. Protection of the Babia Góra Massif has brought the end to grazing referred to, and this has allowed for the progressive return of the timberline to its previous position. Overall, the work described here is based on information from the literature, unpublished studies and maps dating back over the last 400 years.

Keywords: economic use of mountains, grazing, forestry, timberline, Babia Góra Mt., Poland, flysch Western Carpathians

Adam Łajczak [alajczak@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Krakow Podchorążych 2, 30 -084 Krakow: Poland
Tomasz Lamorski, Babiogórski National Park 34-223 Zawoja 1403: Poland

The influence of snow avalanches on the timberline in the Babia Góra Massif, Western Carpathians

Barbara Czajka, Adam Łajczak, Ryszard J. Kaczka

Geographia Polonica (2015) vol. 88, iss. 2, pp. 147-161 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/GPol.0021

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Abstract:

Avalanches are one of the most important abiotic factors influencing the timberline on a worldwide scale. In the case of Babia Góra, avalanches are found to affect more than ¹⁄³ of the length of the timberline, locally lowering it by as much as 350 m in distance. The timberline under the influence of avalanche processes is associated with steep slopes (>30°), with 90% of this being located on the massif’s northern slope. In the long run (1964-2009), around the whole massif the timberline shows a high degree of stability along 79% of its length. It proved possible to reconstruct avalanche events along the largest avalanche path in the examined massif, the Szeroki Żleb gully. Nine such events are seen to have occurred over the past 120 years, with seven of these characterising the last 50 years. The avalanche(s) occurring in winter 1975/1976 had the greatest impact on the timberline in the Szeroki Żleb gully over the examined period.

Keywords: timberline, snow avalanche, Babia Góra Mountain, Norway spruce, image interpretation, dendrogeomorphology

Barbara Czajka, Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Adam Łajczak [alajczak@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Krakow Podchorążych 2, 30 -084 Krakow: Poland
Ryszard J. Kaczka [ryszard.kaczka@us.edu.pl], Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland

The tree-ring growth responses to climate in the timberline ecotone of Babia Góra Mountain

Ryszard J. Kaczka, Barbara Czajka, Adam Łajczak

Geographia Polonica (2015) vol. 88, iss. 2, pp. 163-176 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/GPol.0022

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Abstract:

The growth/climate response of Norway spruce in the timberline ecotone of Babia Góra Mountain was examined. Based on a pool of 708 trees from 10 sites, the influence of age, exposure, and method of computing chronology, was assessed. Gridded data and 12 instrumental series were used to study the spatiotemporal relationship of the tree growth and climate. Temperature mainly controls the growth of the Norway spruce in the timberline ecotone at Babia Góra Mountain. The most important factors were the June and July temperatures (r = 0.57) and of the entire growing season April-September (r = 0.52). The precipitation of late winter (March and correspondingly the January-March season) had a positive influence on the tree growth. The previously reported negative correlation with the summer precipitation was found but it was less important. The mature trees growing on the northern slope showed a response to the summer temperature in a stronger manner than all the other groups. The low-frequency SPL chronologies (detrended using the cubic smoothing splines method) performed better than the RCS (regional curve standardisation) of the high-frequency SPL. A strong correlation was found with Obidowa, the nearest located instrumental data (a distance of 35 km), and the Hala Gąsienicowa, the station located at a similar elevation a.s.l. (1508 m a.s.l.), but also with the Krakow located farther away and at a lower elevation (237 m a.s.l.). The TRW/temperature correlation was temporally most stable in the case of Zakopane.

Keywords: Babia Góra, Carpathians, climate, dendrochronology, Norway spruce, tree-rings

Ryszard J. Kaczka [ryszard.kaczka@us.edu.pl], Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Barbara Czajka, Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Adam Łajczak [alajczak@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Krakow Podchorążych 2, 30 -084 Krakow: Poland

The timberline as result of the interactions among forest, abiotic environment and human activity in the Babia Góra Mt., Western Carpathians

Ryszard J. Kaczka, Barbara Czajka, Adam Łajczak, Jerzy Szwagrzyk, Paweł Nicia

Geographia Polonica (2015) vol. 88, iss. 2, pp. 177-191 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/GPol.0023

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Abstract:

The character and main natural and anthropogenic factors driving the timberline on the Babia Góra Mt. was discussed. The model of Holtmeier (2009) was modified to describe the functioning of the local timberline. Originating in a geological structure, the asymmetric shape of the ridge of the Babia Góra Mt. created consequences for most of the components of the environment of the timberline. This main stationary factor influence all the others including the differences of local climate, soil development and human activity. The long history of direct impact of land use, grazing and logging and recent indirect influences (air pollution and climate warming) control the present character of the timberline.

Keywords: timberline, Carpathians, the Babia Góra Mt., grazing, spatial and temporal dynamics of timberline

Ryszard J. Kaczka [ryszard.kaczka@us.edu.pl], Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Barbara Czajka, Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Adam Łajczak [alajczak@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Krakow Podchorążych 2, 30 -084 Krakow: Poland
Jerzy Szwagrzyk, Institute of Forest Ecology and Silviculture University of Agriculture in Krakow Al. 29 listopada 46, 31-425 Krakow: Poland
Paweł Nicia, Department of Soil Science and Soil Protection University of Agriculture in Krakow Mickiewicza 21, 31 -120 Krakow: Poland

Varia

Cities on Volcanoes 8 Conference, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 9-13 September 2014

Adam Łajczak

Geographia Polonica (2015) vol. 88, iss. 2, pp. 197-199 | Full text

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Keywords:

Adam Łajczak [alajczak@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Krakow Podchorążych 2, 30 -084 Krakow: Poland

The timberline in the Azau Valley in the central Caucasus Mountains in the context of landforms and the geomorphological processes modelling the area

Adam Łajczak, Barbara Czajka

Geographia Polonica (2015) vol. 88, iss. 2, pp. 201-203 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/GPol.0024

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Abstract:

This brief study depicts the Azau Valley in the central Caucasus Mountains in the context of landforms and the geomorphological processes modelling the area. The attached Plate shows the location of timberline and the distribution and extent of landforms of different origin.

Keywords: the Azau Valley, central Caucasus Mountains, timberline, digital map

Adam Łajczak [alajczak@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Krakow Podchorążych 2, 30 -084 Krakow: Poland
Barbara Czajka, Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland

Articles

Geographical characteristics of the timberline in the Carpathians

Barbara Czajka, Adam Łajczak, Ryszard J. Kaczka

Geographia Polonica (2015) vol. 88, iss. 2, pp. 35-54 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/GPol.0014

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Abstract:

The pattern of timberline distribution on mountain ranges world-wide is related to global factors. The basic factor is temperature and the amount of radiation, which falls with increasing distance from the equator. Additionally, this basic relationship is overlaid by the specific features of the type of climate on the massif (degree of continentality or oceanity) and the mass-elevation effect. In the Carpathians, the mass elevation effect seems to have bigger impact on the location of timberline (R2 = 0.71, p = 0.00) than their latitudinal location (R2 = 0.56, p = 0.00). The timberline altitude changes by 70 m a.s.l. (±20 m) with each degree of latitude. The influence of the type of the climate is complex and it is not clearly visible due to past and recent human impact.

Keywords: timberline, global factors, latitude influence, mass-elevation effect, the Carpathians

Barbara Czajka, Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Adam Łajczak [alajczak@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Krakow Podchorążych 2, 30 -084 Krakow: Poland
Ryszard J. Kaczka [ryszard.kaczka@us.edu.pl], Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland

Timberline in the Carpathians: An overview

Barbara Czajka, Adam Łajczak, Ryszard J. Kaczka, Paweł Nicia

Geographia Polonica (2015) vol. 88, iss. 2, pp. 7-34 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/GPol.0013

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Abstract:

In nature, division lines are delineated where multiple important environmental features change. These division lines may be singled out at the intersection of two geosystems (Balon 2000) where the functional uniformity of the geosystems located on both sides are preserved (Forman & Gordon 1986; Cadenasso et al. 2003). A significant environmental boundary is the upper forest boundary (timberline), which separates different vegetation zones: (1) forest from non-forest (Piękoś-Mirkowa & Mirek 1996); climatic zones (2) cool from verycool (Hess 1965); geoecological zones (3) periglacial from temperate forest system (Kotarba 1996). A timberline is a sensitive ecosystem therefore is a good indicator of changes occurring in the environment. There are, however, multiple elements which affect the timberline. This ecotone has also been widely analysed in local, regional, and even monographic studies of numerous massifs. It is necessary to present and organise the great amount of information in order to aid research on the timberline in the Carpathians.

Keywords: boundaries in the mountain environment, timberline, Carpathians

Barbara Czajka, Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Adam Łajczak [alajczak@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Krakow Podchorążych 2, 30 -084 Krakow: Poland
Ryszard J. Kaczka [ryszard.kaczka@us.edu.pl], Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Paweł Nicia, Department of Soil Science and Soil Protection University of Agriculture in Krakow Mickiewicza 21, 31 -120 Krakow: Poland

The dynamics of the timberline ecotone on the asymmetric ridge of the Babia Góra Massif, Western Carpathians

Barbara Czajka, Adam Łajczak, Ryszard J. Kaczka

Geographia Polonica (2015) vol. 88, iss. 2, pp. 85-102 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/GPol.0017

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Abstract:

Timberline ecotone (TE) generally developed because the temperatures in the environment were too low. There are other overlapping biotic and abiotic factors which affect the TE. The main aim of this work was to determine how the asymmetry of Babia Góra’s ridge influences the location and characteristics of the timberline ecotone nowadays, and how the ridge influenced the timberline ecotone in the mid-20th century. The asymmetry of environmental conditions means the timberline has formed in two extreme environments: on the sunny and gentle southern slope (40% of the timberline length) and on the cold, humid, steep northern slope (another 40% of the timberline length). The southern slope of the ridge shows a progressive timberline length of 86%. In turn, 81% of the timberline on the northern slope is in a stable ecotone.

Keywords: Babia Góra Mt., geomorphometry, ridge asymmetry, timberline shift

Barbara Czajka, Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Adam Łajczak [alajczak@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Krakow Podchorążych 2, 30 -084 Krakow: Poland
Ryszard J. Kaczka [ryszard.kaczka@us.edu.pl], Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland

Contemporary changes in the relief of raised bogs on the example of the Polish Carpathians

Adam Łajczak

Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, Special Issue Part 2, pp. 75-92 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/GPol.2011.S2.6

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Abstract:

The subject of this paper is the problem of anthropogenic changes in the relief of raisedbogs in mountain areas. This problem has not received a great deal of attention in the researchliterature. All peat bogs in the Polish part of the Orawa – Nowy Targ Basin and the BieszczadyMountains were analysed. Special attention was paid to the remnants of peat domes andpost-peat areas and the scarps separating them. This paper is based on an analysis of maps producedover the last 230 years as well as aerial photographs. Field data were also analysed as partof this research. Six phases in the development of scarps were identified. The rate of relief changewas estimated and the role of exposure was assessed. Attention was paid to changes in the reliefof post-peat areas that are occurring because retention ponds and drainage ditches have becomemore shallow due to beaver activity and the results of stream channel regulation. Special attentionwas also paid to the geomorphological aspects of the restoration of post-peat areas.

Keywords: anthropopression, raised bog, peat dome, post-peat area, the Orawa – Nowy Targ Basin, the Bieszczady Mountains, the Carpathian Mountains

Adam Łajczak [alajczak@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Krakow Podchorążych 2, 30 -084 Krakow: Poland

River Training Vs. Flood Risk in the Upper Vistula Basin, Poland

Adam Łajczak

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 79-96 | Full text

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Abstract:

This paper assesses the effect of river training in the 20th century on the evolution offlood risk in the middle and lower courses of certain Polish mountain and upland rivers, and inthe lowland Carpathian foreland. The overall anthropogenic impact on the flood risk is a combinationof two contradictory trends: (a) the shortening of the floodplain inundation time (betweenthe levees) as a result of the deepening of the trained channel; and (b) the increasing height of theflood water and frequency of flood culminations, a result of the flood wave transformation. Theauthor, in his flood risk analysis, regards the former trend as the more influential. The highestlevels of all types of flood risks were found along the valley reaches with unembanked channelsthat displayed a tendency to reduce both their depth and gradient. This type of reach occurs immediatelydownstream of embanked reaches with a deepened channel. The author also addressesways to mitigate flood risk levels, taking into account limitations stemming from local land developmentand legal conservation status.

Keywords: flood risk, flood, upper Vistula basin, river training

Adam Łajczak [alajczak@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Krakow Podchorążych 2, 30 -084 Krakow: Poland

Changes of the Vistula river channel and floodplain in the last 200 years

Adam Łajczak, Joanna Plit, Roman Soja, Leszek Starkel, Justyna Warowna

Geographia Polonica (2006) vol. 79, iss. 2, pp. 65-87 | Full text

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Abstract:

The Vistula River is a typical Central-European river flowing from the mountains acrossbasins and upland belts to the lowlands. The Vistula valley is modelled by a river with a complexhydrological regime. In its upper reaches, floods driven by summer rainfall prevail, while in thelower reaches snowmelt floods are important. Deforestation favoured a natural propensity forriver braiding. In the mid-19th century, the channelization of the upper Vistula (in the Carpathianforeland) and the lower reaches was commenced with, while the middle streach was leftin a natural state, such that the river has in places preserved a braided pattern up to the presentday. The channelization followed by construction of reservoirs caused downcutting and aggradationto occur, such that opposing tendencies were observed in particular reaches of the riverchannel. In addition, flood embankments confined aggradation to the intra-embankment area.Thus, the functioning of the Vistula River system is largely controlled by diverse human activity.Unconstrained flow and river load transport along the whole river length are only partly possibleduring extreme floods. The present-day adjustment tendencies also relate to ongoing changes inland-use in the drainage basin, as well as on global climatic changes.

Keywords: Vistula River, channelization/regulation, present-day changes of floodplain, downcutting, aggradation

Adam Łajczak [alajczak@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Krakow Podchorążych 2, 30 -084 Krakow: Poland
Joanna Plit [plitjo@twarda.pan.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 00-818 Warsaw, Twarda 51/55, Poland
Roman Soja [soja@zg.pan.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-018 Krakow, Sw. Jana 22, Poland
Leszek Starkel [starkel@zg.pan.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-018 Krakow, Sw. Jana 22, Poland