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Landscape Ecology

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 149–163 | Cite as

Analysis of land-use change in a sector of Upper Franconia (Bavaria, Germany) since 1850 using land register records

  • Oliver Bender
  • Hans Juergen BoehmerEmail author
  • Doreen Jens
  • Kim P. Schumacher
Research article

Abstract

This study analyses changes in the landscape of a sector of Upper Franconia (Bavaria, Germany) by comparing land use changes over four time periods (1850, 1900, 1960, 2000). Geodetic and other data derived from the Bavarian real estate tax and land register were entered into various temporal layers of a land register-based vector GIS. This multitemporal GIS permits a precise analysis of the historical structure and development of landscapes on the basis of land plots.

In 1850, the study area was almost exclusively agricultural in structure. Woodlands made up only 18% of the total surface. Rough pastures and wastelands, which covered about 9% of the total surface, were used for grazing. During the first half of the 20th century, the proportion of wooded areas increased considerably. The rough pastures that had formerly been a typical feature of the region nearly disappeared during this period. Agricultural use declined to less than 50% of the total area. In the course of the period between 1960 and 2000, the livestock industry has become an almost exclusively indoor activity. Village development has started spilling over into the adjacent fields. The causes and background of these changes are discussed in detail.

From an ecological standpoint, the land use categories surveyed in this analysis of landscape change can be regarded as vegetation types, thereby constituting habitats for specialized biota. The intensity and frequency of any type of land use creates a certain disturbance regime, which disrupts and controls the succession in a certain way. The concept of categories of change incorporated into the GIS helps to evaluate these habitat types and the rate of change more accurately, e.g. for nature conservation purposes.

Keywords

Cadastral maps Cultural landscape Disturbance regime Germany Grazing human disturbance Landscape history multitemporal GIS 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver Bender
    • 1
  • Hans Juergen Boehmer
    • 2
    Email author
  • Doreen Jens
    • 3
  • Kim P. Schumacher
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for Urban and Regional ResearchAustrian Academy of SciencesViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Ecology, Landscape Ecology (LOEK)Technical University of MunichFreising-WeihenstephanGermany
  3. 3.Doreen JensBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Department of Human GeographyUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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