Analyzing post-socialist grassland conversion in a traditional agricultural landscape – Case study Croatia.

Cvitanović, M., Lučev, I., Fürst-Bjeliš, B., Slavuj Borčić, L., Horvat, S. and Valožić, L., 2017. Analyzing post-socialist grassland conversion in a traditional agricultural landscape – Case study Croatia. Journal of Rural Studies, 51 (April), 53 - 63.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2017.01.008

Abstract

Shrub encroachment and agricultural intensification have been a widespread occurrence in the former communist and socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Such changes have strongly affected grassland areas which are seen as hotspots of biodiversity in Europe. In this study we have investigated the changes in grassland cover as well as the causal mechanism of those changes in a selected region in Northern Croatia during the post-socialist transition. By using the mixed methods approach we combined remote sensing, statistical modelling and a household-based questionnaire (n = 285) to map the changes in the grassland cover and to assess the socio-economic and bio-physical contributing factors of the documented changes. The results demonstrate that areas seeing general depopulation trends and population ageing, along with increases in the amount of educated people are characterized by shrub encroachment and farmland abandonment, while flatlands and lowland areas are seeing higher rates of grassland to farmland conversion. The results also show that the partial de-agrarization characteristic for the socialist period has become a full de-agrarization in the post-socialist period, with the main impetus being education, rather than employment, as was the case during socialism.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0743-0167
Uncontrolled Keywords:post-socialism ; grasslands ; Croatia ; mixed method ; land cover change
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:26977
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:08 Feb 2017 15:26
Last Modified:20 Feb 2017 14:06

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