Agricultural sector, rural environment and biodiversity in the Central and Eastern European EU member states

dc.creatorLiira, Jaan
dc.creatorAavik, Tsipe
dc.creatorParrest, Oliver
dc.creatorZobel, Martin
dc.descriptionDuring the second half of the 20th century, agriculture and the rural environment diverged in Westernand Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC). CEE countries itself are heterogeneous in therespect of land use intensity and history. In the current review we focus on the comparison of theagricultural sector and threats on biodiversities of EU new-member countries from Central andEastern Europe and the old EU(15) member states. The clustering of countries revealed groupsdistinguished according to the level of their economic productivity, discriminating mostly amongeastern and western European countries. CEE countries sub-divided according to geographic region,including also some old members of the EU. Within the western cluster, two large sub-clustersbecame evident according to economy affected by altitudinal and climatic differences. Partly becausethere are still areas where the intensity of land use remained low, the biological diversity in manyregions of Central and Eastern Europe has remained high. However, loss of extensively used habitats,the restoration on intensive agriculture, reforestation with exotic species and urbanization are majorthreats to nature in CEE countries. The estimated variability among CEE countries is caused bydifferent historical and cultural backgrounds of those countries. Due to the complexity andgeographical diversity of driving forces, there remains much uncertainty in the possible impacts ofparticular factors on land use. This complexity and diversity have to be considered when planningeconomic as well as ecological means for developing the agricultural sector and conservingbiodiversity in the future of CEE countries.
dc.publisherUniversity of Debrecen, Institute of Earth Sciences
dc.sourceLandscape & Environment; Vol. 2 No. 1 (2008); 46-64
dc.subjectagricultural land use
dc.subjectagricultural policy
dc.subjectbiodiversity drivers
dc.subjectland use intensity
dc.subjectthreats of biodiversity
dc.titleAgricultural sector, rural environment and biodiversity in the Central and Eastern European EU member states
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