Title: Forest Cover Changes in the Northern Carpathians in the 20th Century: A Slow Transition
Citation: Journal of Land Use Science vol. 2 no. 2 p. 127-146
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC43500
ISSN: 1747-423X
URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17474230701218244
DOI: 10.1080/17474230701218244
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The reversal from deforestation to forest increase is named forest transition. It combines factors related to social and economic development or policies attempting to overcome the possible scarcity of timber. This study focuses on forest transition in the northern Carpathians, stretching across four countries (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine) with complex history and variability with respect to present-day economical development. Forest maps were computed for the 1930s and 1990s on the basis of available topographical and satellite data. Forest cover changes were then analysed and discussed in the context of population change and environmental conditions of the area. Between the 1930s and the 1990s net forest cover change was between 5% and 31%. The highest values (>20%) were recorded in areas which suffered post-war re-settlement and depopulation. Medium values (10-15%) were found in areas affected by the post-war gradual marginalization and depopulation. The lowest values (<10%) were noted in areas where population has increased with respect to the 1930s. In this latter case, gradual transformation of mountain agriculture related to overall social and economic changes has driven a slow forest cover increase. The forest cover increase was selective and occured on areas less suitable to agriculture (higher and steeper). This selectiveness was less obvious in areas affected by re-settlement actions.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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