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This chapter defines the major aims of this book and presents its structure. The geographical approach towards land use/land cover is explained with special emphasis on social, economic, political, and other “driving forces” of landscape changes. The main focus is put on land use/land cover changes in the Czech Republic (Czechia). Land use patterns are primarily studied at the national and regional levels; in some cases, detailed research is carried out in selected model areas. Researchers utilize large amount of data that form the “LUCC Czechia Database 1845–2010”. The whole book consists of two major parts. The first part is more theoretical and includes a number of concepts and approaches used in land use/land cover studies in the past and present. It also describes the structure of the database and the statistical methods used. The second part of this book presents the main research results—analysis of land use changes and their driving forces on the territory of Czechia between 1845 and 2010. The text is accompanied by a number of maps and cartograms. At the end of the first chapter, the authors of this book and their research history are presented—altogether six scholars contributed to this publication, headed by Prof. Ivan Bičík (*1943). The scientific team is based at the Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, where land use/land cover studies have a long tradition. Various international cooperations are mentioned, including that with the International Geographical Union Commission on Land Use and Land Cover Changes (IGU LUCC).
KeywordsLand use Land cover Driving forces Model areas Research team
The book was supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic: Project GA ČR GA13-16084S “Social and economic driving forces of agricultural land losses in Czechia since 1990 from a regional perspective” and Project GA ČR GBP410/12/G113 “Historical Geography Research Centre” (Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague and The Institute of History, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i.).
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