Growth rates of any type of land are shown
through the exploitation of the land, it`s structure and
morphology, i.e. the transformation of the land that
occurs during a certain period of time. This proves
the necessity to research the evolution of the soil,
which is the most important component for sustain-
able development of the region. (Ratnadeb & Ami,
LAND USE CHANGES ON GALICICA MOUNTAIN
Ana Despodovska, Blagica Arsovska, Ljupco Melovski, Slavcho Hristovski
Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje “Faculty of Natural Sciences”, Institute of Biology
P.O. box 162, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia
Despodovska, A., Arsovska, B., Melovski, Lj., Hristovski, S.. (2013). Land use changes on Galicica Moun-
tain. Proceedings of the 4th Congress of Ecologists of Macedonia with International Participation, Ohrid, 12-15 Oc-
tober 2012. Macedonian Ecological Society, Special issue 28, Skopje.
This paper presents the changes of land use of Galicica Mountain (including the National Park „Galicica“), in
the last 60 years. Topographic maps from the 1950s and 1970s of the 20th century were used as models, as well as
Google maps from 2007. The analyses were made by using GIS (Geographic Information System) software. The
maps that were used were in scale 1:50000. The goal of this research is to determine the direction of the transfor-
mation of the land, including: the reason why the changes occurred and appeared which factors affects them etc.
The results determined the difference in the areas of the identied territories i.e. the direction of the transformation
of the land of Galicica Mountain in three comparative periods. The area under forests increased due to the reduc-
tion of the areas under pastures and shrubs.
Key words: Galicica, land use, land transformation.
Десподовска, А., Арсовска, Б., Меловски, Љ., Христовски, С. (2013). Промени во искористувањето на
земјиштето на планината Галичица. Зборник на трудови од IV Конгрес на еколозите на Македонија со меѓу-
народно учество, Охрид, 12-15 октомври 2012 година. Македонско еколошко друштво, посебно издание 28,
Во овој труд се прикажани промените во искористувањето на земјиштето на планината Галичица (вк-
лучувајќи го и Националниот парк „Галичица“) во последните 60 години. За таа цел, беа искористени топо-
графски карти од 1950тите и 1970тите години на XX век, како и Google сателитски снимки од 2007 година.
Анализата беше направена со помош на GIS софтвер (географски информациски систем). Картирањето бе-
ше извршено во размер 1:50000. Главна цел на истражувањето беше да се утврди насоката во трансформа-
цијата на земјиштето, вклучувајќи и анализа на причините и факторите на промените. Резултатите ги пока-
жаа разликите во површината на идентификуваните подрачја т.е. насоката на трансформацијата на земјиш-
тето на планината Галичица во трите периоди. Главната промена е зголемување на површината на шумско
земјиште и намалување на површините под пасишта и грмушеста вегетација.
Клучни зборови: Галичица, искористување на земјиште, трансформација на земјиште.
2003). The changes and the transformation of the
land are result of complex interaction of many fac-
tors including politics, economy, culture, human be-
havior and environment (Dale et al., 1993).
The models of exploitation of the land and the
changes of the land cover are powerful tool that can
be used in the understanding and the analysis of the
important connections between the socio-econom-
ic processes that are in relation with the agricultur-
Proceedings of the 4th Congress of Ecologists of
Macedonia with International Participation
Ohrid, 12-15 October 2012
Macedonian Ecological Society
Ana Despodovska et al.
Зборник на трудови од IV Конгрес на еколозите од Македонија
al activities, the evolution of the land and the strate-
gy for management of the natural resources as well
as the ways these changes inuence the structure and
the function of the eco-systems. (Turner and May-
The transformation of the land can also inuence
the local and regional economies (Burchel, 1996).
Understanding the changes in the transforma-
tion of the land and how they occur is crucial since
the anthropogenic activities have great impact on
the environment, on the change of the hydrological
cycle (Steiner F., Osterman D.A., Hicks T.L., Led-
gerwood R., 1988), on the dynamics of the biogeo-
chemical cycles (Flintrop et all., 1996), on the size
and the arrangement of the natural habitats such as
forests (Dale et al., 1993) and the species varieties
(Costanza R. and Patten B.C., 1995).
The exploitation of the land is dened as hu-
man activity over the land (Turner et all, 1995).
Natural factors such as: relief (terrain) charac-
teristics, geological composition, climate, hydrolog-
ical conditions, pedological composition of the ter-
rain etc. inuenced the development of various veg-
etation where areas with forests and pastures on the
Galicica Mountain prevail.
Small portion of the land on Galicica Moun-
tain, man has adopted for cultivation of agricultural
areas. Therefore, the growth of the vegetation cover
is inuenced by a number of social, economic-geo-
graphic, as well as socio-geographic factors.
Activities related to the exploitation of the land
result in destruction of the vegetation cover (Lambin
1997). Therefore, the satellite shots very often can
be used for detection of the changes in the exploita-
tion of the land through the records of the biophysi-
cal characteristics of the terrain.
The aim of this study is to determine the di-
rection of the transformation of the land on Galici-
ca Mountain through comparison of the condition of
the land in the1950s, 1970s of the 20th century as
well as in 2007.
Method of work
Galicica Mountain is located in the southwest
part of the Republic of Macedonia, between the Ohrid
and Prespa Lake and it covers an area of 317 km2.
Review of the changes of the land on Galicica Moun-
tain has been made in 1950, 1970 and 2007. For the
conditions in the 1950s and 1970s, topographic maps
were used in scale of 1:50000, prepared by the Mil-
itary Geographic Ofce (VGI) of the Yugoslav Na-
tional Army (YNA). For the condition in 2007, pic-
tures from Google Maps were used in scale of 1:5000.
Forests landscapes, short bole vegetation-shrubs, ar-
able land, pastures, stone elds, glade elds in for-
ests, populated areas, swamps were identied.
All maps are referenced on the basis of the top-
ographic maps in scale of 1:25000 in geographic
projection UTM/VGS 84 zone 34 North. The topo-
graphic basis for the terrain is prepared by the Mil-
itary Geographic Ofce of YNA on topographic
maps. ArcGIS 9.3 software is used for the process-
ing of the data, developed by ESRI which provides
recognition of colors of the identied territories on
the maps. For the calculation of the surface covered
with the identied territories, plan projection review
was used and the obtained surfaces are calculated in
Transformations in the nature, in general, as
well as the changes in the vegetation cover on the
Galicica Mountain are strongly correlated with the
natural and with the social factors as well.
Mainly, the natural factors are related to the
characteristics of the terrain, geological composi-
tion, climate, hydrological conditions, pedological
composition of the terrain etc. The individual char-
acteristics of the natural factors, as well as the mutu-
al inuences, determine the development of the par-
ticular oristic systems in a certain area. According
to the relatively big inclinations (large slope) of the
surface and the altitude, the areas with forests and
pastures prevail. Parts of these areas are used for
growing cultivated vegetation and this illustrates the
impact of the social factors on the vegetation cover.
In the last few decades, 23 located areas on the
Galicica Mountain have been populated with 10000
habitants. Out of 38000 hectares in their function,
6000 hectares are adopted as arable areas where
elds and orchards prevail.
The social factors are: physical planning, dec-
laration of Galicica as national park, processes of so-
cial planning, emerging urbanization, emerging in-
dustrialization, late infrastructural installation and
arrangement of settlements, inadequate agricultural
politics, motorization and use of agricultural mech-
anization, cultural and educational level of popu-
lation, historically illogical factors for localization
and development of settlements, functionally inade-
quate organization of the settlements territories, mi-
gration of the population in the cities, reorientation
of the population from the primary towards second-
ary business activities, changes in the exploitation of
the energy potentials, changes in the farming prac-
tices and traditional engagements etc.
Because of these reasons, great part of these ar-
able territories is abandoned and therefore the trans-
formation of the land from cultivated to uncultivat-
ed begins. Due to the functional transformations
of parts of the settlements dealing with agriculture
(farming, orcharding, stockbreeding) into catering,
tourism, trade and other service activities, part of the
arable land is transformed into unproductive areas
Land use changes on Galicica Mountain
Proceedings of the 4th Congress of Ecologists of Macedonia
Fig. 1. Land condition of Galichica mountain in 1950’s,1970’s and 2007
Fig. 2. Land use of Galichica mountain in 1950’s (in %)
Fig. 3. Land use of Galichica mountain in 1970’s (in %)
Fig. 4. Land use of Galichica mountain in 2007 (in %)
Ana Despodovska et al.
Зборник на трудови од IV Конгрес на еколозите од Македонија
(houses, buildings, yards, religious objects, grave-
yards etc.). Examples for this are the settlements in
the coastal region of Lake Ohrid, such as Konjsko,
Peshtani, Trpejca and Ljubanishta which today are
oriented towards tourism, trade and other service ac-
tivities. In these settlements even though the number
of population is increasing, still the arable areas are
transforming into unproductive. The situation in the
Prespa Region is different than the Ohrid Region.
The population number in Oteshevo, Leskoec, Petri-
no, Preljublje, Stipona etc., is drastically decreasing
because of the migration of the population towards
cities and abroad. In these settlements the transfor-
mation of the cultivated areas into unproductive is
result of the migration and the abandonment of the
From this information it can be concluded that
the impact of human on the transformation of the
land on Galicica Mountain is expressed through the
increased pressure in the coastal area of Ohrid and
Prespa Lake, and the pressure of the population in-
side the mountains is signicantly reduced and main-
ly concerns the tourist recreational visits of individ-
uals and small groups.
The obvious differences in the changes of the
land on Galicica Mountain in the compared three pe-
riods can be noticed in Figure 1. Furthermore, the
percentages of presence of the identied areas are
shown in Figure 2, 3 and 4.
It was noticed on Galicica Mountain that the ar-
eas of pastures are decreasing from 50% in 1950s, to
24% in 2007. This is a result of the abandonment of
the cattle breeding as a basic activity and reorienta-
tion towards catering and tourism, as well as the mi-
grations of people from rural settlements to the cit-
ies. The land under forests is increased from 40%
in the 1950s to 58% in 2007. This is mostly as a re-
sult of the succession of the land itself, more specif-
ic as a result of the growing of the shrubs into forest.
The area under shrubs decreased from 14% in 1970s
to 5% in 2007 due to the succession. Royatos et al.
(2003) brought similar conclusions for the Pyrenees
in Spain where the elds under forests increased due
to the ingrowth of tree species on the abandoned ar-
able areas. Specic problem arises from the orga-
nized pressure within the National Park Galicica
where under the plan for protection and management
of the park in many occasions (perhaps due to irreg-
ular cut, but certainly with alleged spacing or clean-
ing the elds) an exploitation of the forests is made
(Маркоски, 2011). As a result, it is possible the per-
centage of land under forest to be variable, but the
most important thing is that this percentage increas-
es successively in the three comparative periods.
During the preparation of this research, we
faced inclarities of the topographic maps from 1950s
of the 20th century. Throughout the marking of the
maps difculties were faced in the recognition and
marking the areas, part of this research. While at
Google Earth maps the shadow that appears on the
photos can be noticed as a downside, depending on
the angle of the satellite shoots.
According to the results from the researched ar-
ea, it can be concluded that the land cover of Galici-
ca Mountain from the 1950s until 2007 has signi-
cant changes. The areas under forests are increased
whilst the areas under short bole vegetation – shrubs
and areas under pastures are reduced. The reasons
why these changes occurs are the succession of the
land itself, the migration of the population from the
countryside to the cities, the abandonment of the cat-
tle breeding and reorientation towards catering and
tourism, but also the climate factors all around the
globe should not be forgotten.
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