CHANGES IN FOREST COVER AND FOREST SPATIAL STRUCTURE OF VILKAVIŠKIS DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY AND AFFORESTATION OPPORTUNITIES
Keywords:forest land area, spatial structure of forests, afforestation, Vilkaviškis district, inefficient land use, Euclidean distance.
Vilkaviškis is one of the least forested municipal districts in the territory of Lithuania. The land uses of the district are analyzed in order to determine the possible places for afforestation in the district ecological stability is assessed using P. Aleknavičius (2008) methodology, changes in spatial structure between 1950, 2000 and 2021 are determined, using euclide distance method, spatial data are created to identify suitable and unsuitable afforestation opportunities in the territory of Vilkaviškis district. The study found that the largest forest clusters are in the southern elderships of the district, Vištytis and Gražiškės elderships make up 5,04 percent the forest cover of the whole area (10,86 %), study also identified inefficient land use areas where afforestation of the district would increase to 19,85 percent.