DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2014/B51/S20.055

LAND USE AND LAND COVER CHANGE IN DAMBOVITA COUNTY, ROMANIA (1990-2012)

A. Costache, M. Sencovici, O. Murarescu
Wednesday 1 October 2014 by Libadmin2014

References: 14th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2014, www.sgem.org, SGEM2014 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-17-9 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 19-25, 2014, Book 5, Vol. 1, 405-412 pp

ABSTRACT
Dâmboviţa County (4054 sq km, 527000 inhabitants in 2013) is located in the southcentral part of Romania. The high share of rural population (69%), the population density (130 inhabitants/sq km), as well as the dominance of intensely humanized plains and hills, are creating the premises of significant anthropogenic pressures, likely to put their mark on land use and vegetation cover. These factors are completed with socioeconomic, political and legislative changes that affected Romania after 1990, such as: urban industry restructuring; migration of redundant labour force towards villages; restitution of agricultural and forestry land; and abandonment of agricultural land, due to low income level. In this context, we investigated the changes occurred in land use and land cover in Dâmboviţa County, during the last two decades. The changes have been highlighted by analyzing statistical data and also through field observations and analysis of Corine Land Cover data for 1990, 2000 and 2006. Statistical analysis did not reveal significant changes in land use within 1990-2012, in the main categories of surfaces (agricultural and non-agricultural land). Within these categories, the most significant changes are found in the areas occupied by pastures (increase of approx. 19%), vineyards (decrease by 70%) and orchards (19% reduction). Analysis of Corine Land Cover data (level 1) emphasized small-scale changes in the sense of transfers from one category to another. Significant changes occurred generally within the same category (e.g. reducing of orchards and vineyards in favour of pastures and meadows). In terms of land cover changes, a real threat is the loss of biodiversity due to natural factors (e.g. oak drying tendency; warping of some lakes; the decrease of swampy areas) and anthropogenic factors (e.g. issues of land ownership; the lack of an effective security system of protected areas, so that some reserves have been severely affected by poaching, grazing in forests or illegal cutting of trees). Also, phenomena of vegetation degradation occurred, as well as the replacement of some species by others. The last phenomenon was generally accompanied by a decrease in forest productivity and sometimes a worsening of stationary conditions.

Keywords: land use, land cover, post-communist changes, Dâmboviţa, Romania