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Volume XIII |

Assessing long-term changes in forest cover in the South West Development Region. Romania

Abstract: The paper is discussing the importance of assessing forest dynamics based on several statistical and cartographic supports considered to be the most representative for the last century. The selected maps are able to point out the forest cover changes for three time frames (1912-1971; 1971-1990; 1990-2006) related to the relevant multi-temporal statistical and cartographic data as well as historical events such as land reforms, political changes related to the transition to the intensive and extensive communist agriculture and the post-communist period strongly related to the decolectivisation and privatisation of agriculture leading to the emergence of new types of property, an excessive land fragmentation and deforestation (illegal logging). The authors are aiming to analyse land use conversion and forest covered areas dynamics in relation to the main socio-political and natural driving forces by means of GIS methods (binary change index and trend index) based on a series of significant cartographic documents and a large and complex geodatabase.

Volume XI |

Invasive terrestrial plant species in the Romanian protected areas. Case study: Fallopia japonica in the Maramureş Mountains Natural Park

Abstract: Assessing invasive terrestrial plant species in protected areas is of major importance, taking into consideration the role they play as key drivers in conserving biological diversity. The paper is aiming to argue the Invasive Terrestrial Plant Species (ITPS) in the Romanian protected areas with a special focus on the species Fallopia japonica in the Maramures Mountains Natural Park. Fallopia japonica, also known as Polygonum cuspidatum or Reynoutria japonica is an herbaceous perennial plant, largely occupying the riparian ecosystems and causing serious damages to native vegetation. The species is broadly regarded as one of the most invasive plant species in Europe, also listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the world’s one hundred worst plant invaders. The paper seeks to analyze the potential spread of Fallopia japonica in a protected area-Maramures Mountains Natural Park – V IUCN category as well as Natura 2000 site (SPA and SCI) integrating comprehensive statistical and field data with modern computing methods (GIS-based). Consequently, based on accurate mapping and field investigation of Fallopia japonica in the study-area, the authors were able to identify specie’s main ecological requirements and preferences, spreading conditions etc. The current research will have great contribution to undertaking further studies on invasive terrestrial plant species development, distribution potential and impact upon native habitats.

Volume X |

The Drinking Water Infrastructure in the Oltenia Plain over the Last Decade. Territorial Characteristics and Quantitative Aspects of Production and Consumption

Abstract: The aim of the paper is to analyse the territorial disparities of the drinking water infrastructure in the Oltenia Plain. The study focuses on the following main aspects, specific for the general dynamic of water infrastructure development in the last decade:
– the increase in the number of human settlements connected to drinking water network;
– quantitative aspects of drinking water production (cubic meters/ day) and different types of consumers (thousand cubic meters).
The article intends to highlight the data-base on NUTS V level (TEMPO Online time series, National Institute of Statistics) and to map the main changes registered by the statistical indicators used for the analysis: the number of territorial-administrative units (ATU) connected to the drinking water network, the length of the drinking water infrastructure, the capacity of installations to produce drinking water, the consumption of water by the different types of consumers). In the Oltenia Plain the extension of the number of ATUs connected to the drinking water network was linked with the development of the regional operator in water management, Water Company Oltenia. Despite its weaknesses, this main actor on the water-market of Oltenia will install workstations in two small towns (Băileşti and Calafat), assuring better water services in a relatively large area of the Oltenia Plain. During the last ten years, the water infrastructure became more accessible for the rural settlements and population. The production of drinking water decreased (the capacity of installations to produce drinking water in 2008 was smaller by 1.1% than in 2000) in the last decade, this dynamic being related to the negative evolution of total population (a decrease by 98,736 inhabitants between 1990 and 2009) in the Oltenia Plain, and to decline of agricultural and industrial activities. The two types of consumers (the householders and other consumers = economic actors) differ concerning the rate of the decrease in their consumption: the household type consumption drops only by 17%, compared with 49.2% specific for the other consumers. This dynamic should be explained by the reduction in economic activities, great water consumers (e.g. agriculture and industry).

Volume X |

The Climatic Water Deficit in South Oltenia Using the Thornthwaite Method

Abstract: Understanding the dryness and drought phenomena is fundamental in explaining the landscape features and the rational use of water resources in a region. The authors aim to assess the climatic water deficit (WD) in one of the most sensitive regions in Romania in terms of aridity: Southern Oltenia. Defining and characterizing the intense aridity was done based on the Thornthwaite method under a multi-annual regime (1961-2007) and during the growing season (April-October) in order to reveal the climate suitability for human activity and the optimum conditions for the main crops. In southern Oltenia the Thornthwaite aridity index values (Iar-TH) (%) defines an arid area, increasing from north to south and south-west from 40-45% to 50%. The highest values displaying a pronounced aridity (Iar-TH ≥ 50%) cover a significant part of the Blahniţa Plain, Desnăţui Plain, Southern Romanaţi Plain (Dăbuleni Field), the Jiu Valley and the entire Danube Plain (about 65% of the entire surface).