Causes of Cropland Abandonment During the Post-socialist Transition in Southern Romania


We analyzed the causes of cropland abandonment in Argeş County, Romania, after the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. Cropland changes were derived from LandSat classifications for 1990, 1995, and 2005. Total net abandonment amounted to 21% of the 1990 cropland. Land cover data were integrated with environmental and socioeconomic variables and jointly analyzed using spatially explicit logistic regressions to estimate the determinants of cropland abandonment. Results suggest that abandonment was more likely on isolated cropland patches and rougher terrain throughout the transition period. Market forces increasingly shape the patterns of cropland abandonment in later stages of the post-socialist transition, as witnessed by the increasing contribution of variables affecting the profitability of cultivation.

In P.Y. Groisman & S.V. Ivanov: Regional Aspects of Climate-Terrestrial-Hydrologic Interactions in Non-boreal Eastern Europe. 221-230 New York: Springer. ISBN: 978-90-481-2241-7978-90-481-2283-7
Tobias Kuemmerle
Tobias Kuemmerle
Professor & Head of the Conservation Biogeography Lab