Volume XI |

Land use changes in the Bâsca Chiojdului river basin and the assessment of their environmental impact

Abstract: The paper aims at analyzing the environmental quality of the Bâsca Chiojdului river basin by calculating a variety of environmental indices: human pressure index through population dynamics, human pressure index through agricultural land use, the naturality index, artificialization index and environmental change index. Choosing a 1 km grid for calculating and comparing these indices at the level of the river basin allows a more concise analysis on the environmental quality. Subsequently, the temporal dynamics of the environmental indices values is highlighted by the 40 years interval used especially in the human factor analysis, and by choosing the year 2005 as reference year. The results, embodied in the values obtained by applying formulas to calculate the environmental indices (human pressure index through agricultural land use – 44.19% agricultural land, the naturality index of the landscape – 50.82%; the artificialization index of the landscape – 2.32%; the environmental change index: Maruszczak version – 33.92; the improved version – 1.09, the completed version – 10.83) present the state of the environment. The proposed measures to stabilize and maintain a good environmental quality in the Bâsca Chiojdului river basin regard mainly the forest ecosystem, because it is the most important factor of maintaining the balance by its protective functionality on the environment.