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Factors of land abandonment in mountainous Mediterranean areas: the case of Montenegrin settlements.

Kerckhof A, Spalevic V, Van Eetvelde V, Nyssen J - Springerplus (2016)

Bottom Line: The category of extensified settlements is characterized by a highly reduced agricultural management intensity, resulting in an increase in grasslands and fruit trees at the expense of cropland.Such extensive land use is found in both permanently inhabited and abandoned villages.Land use intensification takes place in low-lying areas located nearby towns.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geography, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

ABSTRACT
Land use changes have been investigated in the surroundings of 14 rural Montenegrin settlements in order to get specific information about trends in land abandonment since around 1950. Permanently, seasonally and less inhabited settlements with different geographic conditions were studied. This was done by interviewing local inhabitants, which enabled a holistic approach to reveal the underlying processes of land abandonment. According to the observed patterns of land use change, the study sites can be categorized into intensified, urbanized, extensified, overgrown and forested cases. The category of extensified settlements is characterized by a highly reduced agricultural management intensity, resulting in an increase in grasslands and fruit trees at the expense of cropland. This land use change is mainly related to emigrating and aging inhabitants, having less livestock. Such extensive land use is found in both permanently inhabited and abandoned villages. Only some studied settlements became largely overgrown by bushes and forest. The steep average slope gradients and a large distance to the nearest city are explanatory factors of such land abandonment. Land use intensification takes place in low-lying areas located nearby towns.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Sklads or lynchets on the grasslands of the settlement Trubina. Several sklads are marked by an arrow. 01/09/2013
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Fig3: Sklads or lynchets on the grasslands of the settlement Trubina. Several sklads are marked by an arrow. 01/09/2013

Mentions: The selected settlements show a variety in altitude, slope gradient, previous woody vegetation cover and distance to the nearest town (Table 2). Furthermore, some concepts typical for rural Montenegrin areas emerged from the interviews. Firstly, the katun was mentioned, a complex of mountain pastures with extensive common meadows (and often cottages), where inhabitants lived during summertime with their livestock. Some settlements had several katuns, located at different altitudes, which were used in sequence. Nowadays, many of them are not used anymore and became (partly) abandoned. Also, lynchets, nowadays mainly under grassland, prove the previous existence of croplands on slopes (Fig. 3). Cultivation in dolines was encountered in study sites on limestone but nowadays, these only subsist as small gardens. The production of lime and charcoal was traditionally performed in calcareous regions with a degraded forest but has almost been abandoned.Table 2


Factors of land abandonment in mountainous Mediterranean areas: the case of Montenegrin settlements.

Kerckhof A, Spalevic V, Van Eetvelde V, Nyssen J - Springerplus (2016)

Sklads or lynchets on the grasslands of the settlement Trubina. Several sklads are marked by an arrow. 01/09/2013
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4837754&req=5

Fig3: Sklads or lynchets on the grasslands of the settlement Trubina. Several sklads are marked by an arrow. 01/09/2013
Mentions: The selected settlements show a variety in altitude, slope gradient, previous woody vegetation cover and distance to the nearest town (Table 2). Furthermore, some concepts typical for rural Montenegrin areas emerged from the interviews. Firstly, the katun was mentioned, a complex of mountain pastures with extensive common meadows (and often cottages), where inhabitants lived during summertime with their livestock. Some settlements had several katuns, located at different altitudes, which were used in sequence. Nowadays, many of them are not used anymore and became (partly) abandoned. Also, lynchets, nowadays mainly under grassland, prove the previous existence of croplands on slopes (Fig. 3). Cultivation in dolines was encountered in study sites on limestone but nowadays, these only subsist as small gardens. The production of lime and charcoal was traditionally performed in calcareous regions with a degraded forest but has almost been abandoned.Table 2

Bottom Line: The category of extensified settlements is characterized by a highly reduced agricultural management intensity, resulting in an increase in grasslands and fruit trees at the expense of cropland.Such extensive land use is found in both permanently inhabited and abandoned villages.Land use intensification takes place in low-lying areas located nearby towns.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geography, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

ABSTRACT
Land use changes have been investigated in the surroundings of 14 rural Montenegrin settlements in order to get specific information about trends in land abandonment since around 1950. Permanently, seasonally and less inhabited settlements with different geographic conditions were studied. This was done by interviewing local inhabitants, which enabled a holistic approach to reveal the underlying processes of land abandonment. According to the observed patterns of land use change, the study sites can be categorized into intensified, urbanized, extensified, overgrown and forested cases. The category of extensified settlements is characterized by a highly reduced agricultural management intensity, resulting in an increase in grasslands and fruit trees at the expense of cropland. This land use change is mainly related to emigrating and aging inhabitants, having less livestock. Such extensive land use is found in both permanently inhabited and abandoned villages. Only some studied settlements became largely overgrown by bushes and forest. The steep average slope gradients and a large distance to the nearest city are explanatory factors of such land abandonment. Land use intensification takes place in low-lying areas located nearby towns.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus