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Alexandru-Ionuţ Petrişor and Liliana Petrişor

Abstract

Global change‟ is a relatively recent concept, related to the energy - land use - climate change nexus, and designated to include all changes produced by the human species and the consequences of its activities over natural ecological complexes and biodiversity. The joint effects of these drivers of change are particularly relevant to understanding the changes of biodiversity. This study overlaps results of previous studies developed in Romania to find, explain and predict potential threats on biodiversity, including the effects of very high temperatures and low precipitations, urban sprawl and deforestation in order to identify „hotspots‟ of high risk for the loss of biodiversity using geostatistical tools. The results found two hotspots, one in the center and the other one in the south, and show that the area affected by three factors simultaneously represents 0.2% of the national territory, while paired effects cover 4% of it. The methodological advantage of this approach is its capacity to pinpoint hotspots with practical relevance. Nevertheless, its generalizing character impairs its use at the local scale..

Open access

Alexandru-Ionuţ Petrişor and Liliana Elza Petrişor

Abstract

Applying geostatistical approaches to spatial data is a common method for assessing the transitional dynamics of land cover and use changes induced by human activities. However, the relevance of results depends largely on the quality of data. CORINE data have showed their utility in assessing long term changes at the macro-scale, but their use at the micro-scale is impeded by the spatial resolution and changes in the methodology of obtaining them. Recently, new data from the Urban Atlas were provided at a greater resolution for urban areas. In an attempt to assess their potential for analyzing transitional dynamics at the micro-scale, this paper compared the two data sets using the case study of Bucharest. The results indicate that the Urban Atlas does a better job in surprising the fragmentation of land in urban areas, and providing the real extent of specific features diminished by CORINE.

Open access

Alexandru-Ionuţ Petrişor and Liliana Elza Petrişor

Abstract

The alpine region is of crucial importance for the European Union; as a result, the Carpathian Convention aims at its sustainable development. Since sustainability implies also conservation through natural protected areas, aimed at including regions representative for the national biogeographical space, this article aims at assessing the efficiency of conservation. The methodology consisted of using spatial metrics applied to Romanian and European data on the natural protected areas, land cover and use and their transitional dynamics. The findings show a very good coverage of the Alpine biogeographical region (98% included in the Convention area, and 43% of it protected within the Convention area) and of the ecological region of Carpathian montane coniferous forests (88% included in the Convention area, and 42% of it protected within the Convention area). The dominant land cover is represented by forests (63% within the Convention area, and 70% of the total protected area). The main transitional dynamics are deforestation (covering 50% of all changes area within the Convention area and 46% from the changed area within its protected area) and forestations – including afforestation, reforestation and colonization of abandoned agricultural areas by forest vegetation (covering 44% of all changes area within the Convention area and 51% from the changed area within its protected area) during 1990-2000 and deforestation (covering 97% of all changes area within the Convention area and 99% from the changed area within its protected area) during 1990-2000. The results suggest that the coverage of biogeographical and ecological zones is good, especially for the most relevant ones, but deforestations are a serious issue, regardless of occurring before or after achieving the protection status.

Open access

Alexandru-Ionuţ Petrişor and Liliana Elza Petrişor

Abstract

Land cover and use changes are an important component of the global changes, and in relationship with their transitional dynamics reflect the impact of socio-economic transition. This study is aimed at exploring the land cover and use changes occurred during 2006-2012 in Romania with respect to their spatial distribution over the regions of development and main transitional dynamics. The results suggest that the main drivers of change are deforestation and urbanization, accounting for 3/4 of all changes, and that the most affected regions are the northwest, southwest, center and northeast ones. Overall, the findings suggest a continuation of the trends from the previous periods, characteristic to transition economies.

Open access

Alexandru-Ionuţ Petrişor and Liliana Petrişor

Abstract

25 years have passed since the 'Brundtland Report‘ defined sustainability as a possibility to equally meet current and future needs. 15 years later, the author of the definition stated that despite of the fact that the definition does not need to be changed, its understanding bettered off during the interval. 25 years later, the present paper takes an in-depth look at the concept and its practical implications. One of the issues being addressed refers to the pillars of sustainability; their number increased by 25% to include the cultural pillar in addition to the economic, social, and cultural one. Spatial thinking added a new dimension, translating into concepts like 'sustainable communities‘ or 'self standing village‘ at the local level, and 'polycentricity‘ and 'cohesion‘ at the regional one. Furthermore, practical implications include environmental impact assessment (evolving towards strategic impact assessment), internalization of externalities, ecological restoration, and a new view on conservation, different from the one addressed by the 'Zero Growth Strategy‘. In addition, the paper discusses several criticism addressed to the concept and its implementation, attempting to reveal their underlying causes. Overall, the critical analysis shows that the attempts to achieve sustainability did not change the concept as much as its understanding.