Land Change in the Carpathian Region Before and After Major Institutional Changes

  • Catalina MunteanuEmail author
  • Volker Radeloff
  • Patrick Griffiths
  • Lubos Halada
  • Dominik Kaim
  • Jan Knorn
  • Jacek Kozak
  • Tobias Kuemmerle
  • Juraj Lieskovsky
  • Daniel Müller
  • Katarzyna Ostapowicz
  • Oleksandra Shandra
  • Premysl Stych


The Carpathian region represents an ideal showcase of several land change theories and their implications for conservation because this region shares the long geo-political and socio-economic history of Eastern Europe while also being a biodiversity hotspot. With a long history of abrupt socio-economic and institutional shifts, the Carpathians exemplify how ecosystems may or may not be pushed into an alternative stable state following shocks such as the collapse of empires, world wars or the collapse of socialism. Furthermore, ecosystem changes may or may not experience time-lags in response to shocks, and over long time periods, historic land-use practices may produce land-use legacies that persist on the landscapes for decades or centuries. Here, we analyze the long-term drivers of land change and their land-use outcomes in the Carpathian region, with a particular focus on forests, agriculture and grasslands, and provide examples of how ecosystems respond to shocks using examples of alternative stable states, time-lags and land-use legacies. Understanding how and why land change patterns vary over time and space is important for balancing land-use decisions, especially in biodiverse regions with a high conservation value.


Land Cover Forest Cover Land Cover Change Land Cover Type Common Agricultural Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catalina Munteanu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Volker Radeloff
    • 1
  • Patrick Griffiths
    • 2
  • Lubos Halada
    • 3
  • Dominik Kaim
    • 4
  • Jan Knorn
    • 2
  • Jacek Kozak
    • 4
  • Tobias Kuemmerle
    • 2
    • 5
  • Juraj Lieskovsky
    • 3
  • Daniel Müller
    • 2
    • 6
    • 7
  • Katarzyna Ostapowicz
    • 4
  • Oleksandra Shandra
    • 8
  • Premysl Stych
    • 9
  1. 1.SILVIS Lab, Department of Forest and Wildlife EcologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Geography DepartmentHumboldt-University BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Landscape EcologySlovak Academy of Sciences BratislavaNitraSlovakia
  4. 4.Institute of Geography and Spatial ManagementJagiellonian UniversityKrakówPoland
  5. 5.Germany and Integrative Research Institute on Transformations in Human Environment Systems (IRI THESys)Humboldt-University BerlinBerlinGermany
  6. 6.Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO)Halle (Saale)Germany
  7. 7.Integrative Research Institute on Transformations in Human Environment Systems (IRI THESys)Humboldt-University BerlinBerlinGermany
  8. 8.Department of Physical Geography and GeoecologyTaras Shevchenko National University of KyivKievUkraine
  9. 9.Faculty of ScienceCharles University in PraguePrague 2Czech Republic

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