Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Earth Observation Lab


Post-socialist land change in the Carpathians - Assessing the importance of socioeconomic and political factors on landscape dynamics and biodiversity


Project period: 09/2003 – 10/2009

This project seeked to assess land change in the Carpathian Mountains at two spatial scales, the full Carpathian Mountain range and detailed local case studies. Satellite images from 1985-2005 where used to quantify land change and to study farmland abandonment, farmland parcelization, and forest disturbance. Landscape ecology methods where used to quantify changes in landscape pattern such as forest fragmentation. Cross-border comparison of land cover and landscape pattern where carried out to better understand the role of broad-scale determinants of land change, and for the effectiveness of protected areas in the Carpathians. Moreover, the project was particularly interested in the consequences of land change for biodiversity and how politics, socioeconomics, land management policies, and the strength of institutions relates to conserving and promoting high biodiversity and wildlife in the region. The project used landscape-scale indicators such as habitat diversity measures, indicator species habitat modeling, and meta-population modeling.

Lab and other research members involved

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

  • Volker C. Radeloff, Camilo Alcantara, Maxim Dubinin, Alexander Prishchepov (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA)
  • Kajetan Perzanowski (Polish Academy of Sciences, Ustrzykhi Dolne, Poland)
  • Jacek Kozak (Jagellonian University, Cracow, Poland)
  • Ivan Kruholv, Marine Elkabidze (Ivan-Frank University, Lviv, Ukraine)
  • Per Angelstam (Swedish Agricultural University, Skinnskatteberg, Sweden)

Northern Eurasian Earth Science Partnership Initiative (NEESPI)