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Postdoctoral Project

PROJECT TITLE

Spatial analysis of land degradation sensitivity in Romania using the multi-criteria MEDALUS methodology

PROJECT ACRONYM

LANDERSER

PROJECT CODE

107 of 02/05/2018 (PN-III-P1-1.1-PD-2016-0953)

FUNDING SOURCE

The Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding

RESEARCH PROJECT DESCRIPTION (ABSTRACT)

Land degradation is a critical global and European environmental issue, which consists of the diminishment or loss in land economic and biological productivity, against the background of disruptive factors such as climate change and anthropogenic activities. Romania is one of the most vulnerable European countries in terms of land degradation, considering it is located in the continent’s central south-eastern region, which is known to be Europe’s most heavily exposed area to the alteration of environmental biophysical conditions, alongside the Mediterranean region. Given this context, the project aims to perform a spatial analysis of land sensitivity to degradation in Romania, using a complex, multi-criteria and interdisciplinary methodological approach. This approach is based on the widely-used MEDALUS (Mediterranean Desertification and Land Use) methodology, which, using Geographic Information Systems, processes certain primary environmental indicators known to be driving forces of land degradation, i.e. Climate Quality Index, Soil Quality Index, Vegetation Quality Index, Water Quality Index and Management Quality Index. By obtaining the 5 indicators (based on a high number of relevant sub-indicators) and by integrating them in the final product – the Land Degradation Sensitivity Index –, the project essentially aims to obtain the first-ever nation-wide mapping and analysis of areas that are exposed to this environmentally disruptive process. This analysis, highly useful both ecologically and economically, which has not been attempted before nationally or regionally, will deliver results that can prompt essential contributions to the understanding of the process, in terms of spatial range, manifestation mechanism and associated consequences, and, most notably, to the prioritization and implementation of measures to improve degraded land issued by policy makers.

THE PROJECT’S OBJECTIVES

Identification/acquisition of all geographical data sets (pedological, climatic, hydrologic, biotic) deemed necessary for the MEDALUS model implementation, in accordance with the regional/national specificities of this environmental process;
Processing the data to obtain the main biophysical indicators that are driving forces of land degradation, which will help generate the final index of land susceptibility to degradation;
Mapping/statistical analysis of all national lands with different degrees of sensitivity to this process, based on the final index of land susceptibility to degradation;
Validation of the final sensitivity model with field investigations;
Raising awareness on the importance of a multi-criteria/interdisciplinary analysis of this environmental issue in Romania’s scientific/political spheres by disseminating the study’s results.

PROJECT MANAGER AND HOST INSTITUTION

Name and surname: Prăvălie Remus
E-mail address: pravalie_remus@yahoo.com
Institution name: University of Bucharest
Institution address: Sos. Panduri, 90–92, 050663, 5th District, Bucharest, Romania

PROJECT MENTOR

Prof. Dr. Bandoc Georgeta

SCIENTIFIC DELIVRABLES (2018-2020)

Articles directly related to the project theme:

  • Prăvălie R., Bandoc G., Patriche C., Sternberg T., 2019. Recent changes in global drylands: Evidences from two major aridity databases. Catena 178, 209–231,  doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2019.03.016 ,Impact Factor 3.9 (red zone, Q1 category in Web of Science);
  • Prăvălie R., Patriche C., Săvulescu I., Sîrodoev I., Bandoc G., Sfîcă L., 2020. Spatial assessment of land sensitivity to degradation across Romania. A quantitative approach based on the modified MEDALUS methodology. Catenadoi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2019.104407, Impact Factor 3.9 (red zone, Q1 category in Web of Science);
  • Prăvălie R., Patriche C., Tişcovschi A., Dumitraşcu M., Săvulescu I., Sîrodoev I., Bandoc G., 2020. Recent spatio-temporal changes of land sensitivity to degradation in Romania due to climate change and human activities: An approach based on multiple environmental quality indicators. Ecological Indicators (in press), Impact Factor 4.5 (red zone, Q1 category in Web of Science).

Articles indirectly related to the project theme:

  • Bandoc G., Prăvălie R., Patriche C., Degeratu M., 2018. Spatial assessment of wind power potential at global scale. A geographical approach. Journal of Cleaner Production 200, 1065–1086, doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.07.288, Impact Factor 6.4 (red zone, Q1 category in Web of Science);
  • Prăvălie R., Patriche C., Bandoc G., 2019. Spatial assessment of solar energy potential at global scale. A geographical approach. Journal of Cleaner Production 209, 692–721, doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.10.239, Impact Factor 6.4 (red zone, Q1 category in Web of Science).

International conferences directly or indirectly related to the project theme:

  • Prăvălie R., Bandoc G., Patriche C., 2018. Global expansion of arid environments: A major cause for the enhancement of land degradation and other worldwide environmental issues. International conference “Present Environment and Sustainable Development”, 13th Edition, June 1–3, Iasi, Romania; 
  • Prăvălie R., Sîrodoev I., Patriche C., Roșca B., Piticar A., Bandoc G., Tișcovschi A., Sfîcă L., Iordache Ș., Simion B., 2018. The impact of climate change on maize agricultural yields in Romania. International conference “Geography in the Romanian Centenary”, November 17–18, Bucharest, Romania;
  • Bandoc G., Prăvălie R., Patriche C., Roșca B., Peican C., 2019. Climate warming and recent changes of plant phenology in the southern and south-eastern regions of Romania. International conference “Present Environment and Sustainable Development”, 14th Edition, June 7–9, Iasi, Romania;
  • Prăvălie R., Bandoc G., 2019. Assessment of the sensitive areas to land degradation in Romania using the MEDALUS method. “ICLDSSM 2019: International Conference on Land Degradation and Sustainable Soil Management”, June 20–21, Vienna, Austria
  • Prăvălie R., Bandoc G., 2019. Spatial analysis of solar energy potential at global level. Evidences from a new high-resolution worldwide climate database. “7th World Congress and Expo on Green Energy”, June 24–25, Barcelona, Spain;
  • Prăvălie R., Bandoc G., 2019. Global forest disturbances and consequences in the Earth’s climate system. “7th World Congress on Earth and Environmental Science”, August 21–22, Singapore;
  • Prăvălie R., Bandoc G., Tişcovschi A., 2019. Solar energy as a major pathway towards worldwide decarbonization and climate stability. International conference “Environment at a CrossrOads: SMART approaches for a sustainable future”, September 5–8, Bucharest, Romania. 

SCIENTIFIC REPORT 2018

SCIENTIFIC REPORT 2019

FINAL SCIENTIFIC REPORT 2020