Today landscape change monitoring becomes important in the field of sustainable development planning. Real changes of landscape have to be observed in a large scale (not smaller than 1:10,000) in order to avoid generalization of small landscape elements. In such a scale it is rational to perform the monitoring in sample areas that would be enough statistically abundant. The paper offers an original method of distributing the landscape sample areas in Lithuanian territory, differing from most methods based on random choose of sample areas though thorough analysis of the analogous methods abroad was performed. The work was sponsored by the Environmental Agency at the Lithuanian Ministry of Environment. In accordance to the spread of different natural landscape types (like clayey plains, morainic hills, sandy plains, etc.), a set of 100 sample areas (2.5 km2 each) was distributed in Lithuanian territory. To increase the sample area number in smaller landscape types (spit, coastal sandy plain, delta), some proportional corrections were made. Thus, the largest number of the sample areas was assigned to the most spread clayey plains (22), the smallest number - to sandy coastal plain (3). In order to find a concrete place for each sample area inside the landscape type a computer program was employed and the highest representation principle applied. Several tens of thoUSAnds possible positions of the sample areas were tested in order to find the best in representing land cover structure. This was achieved by calculating relative remoteness of tested samples' land cover structure from the respective landscape type structure, further selecting the most patchy samples. Selecting the position of a sample area was also influenced by the buffer capacity (resistance to the chemical impact) of landscape, mostly concentrating on the areas with less buffer capacity (more sensitive to chemical pollution).
Jankauskaite, M., & Veteikis, D. (2010). On the problem of territorial distribution of sample areas for landscape monitoring purposes. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management, 18(3), 234–241. https://doi.org/10.3846/jeelm.2010.27