Evaluation of Landscape Stability

To evaluate ecological landscape stability as the most frequent indicator in the assessment of environmental landscape quality, several methodological approaches were developed that are mostly based on defining the coefficient of ecological stability, the basic definition and mathematical expression of which were intro­duced by Michal (1982) in his work. The equation for calculation of this coefficient of ecological stability has undergone several revisions and modifications for dif­ferent types of work.

The most frequently used term for characterization of landscape ecological quality is the term ecological stability. Ecologists have proposed several incompat­ible definitions of ecosystems and landscape ecological stability. The most avail­able definitions for this chapter are found in articles by Michal (1982, 1992, 1994), Mician and Zatkalik (1986), Miklos (1992), Forman and Godron (1993), Voloscuk (2001), and Rehackova and Pauditsova (2007).

According to Michal (1982), the stability of any kind of system is not in its unchanging state, but in its ability to retain its own dynamic equilibrium. Ecological stability is the ability of ecological system to persist even under a disruptive influence and reproduce their essential features as well as in terms of outside distortions. This ability is expressed by minimal change in the case of destructive impact or spontaneous return to its initial state, respectively, the development of the original trajectory after eventual change. Landscape ecological stability preserva­tion is the most general and comprehensive condition for preservation of the gene pool, biological diversity, equilibrium, flexibility, natural ecosystem behavior, and the natural productive ability of the landscape (Izakovicova et al. 2008).