Future forest cover change scenarios with implications for landslide risk: an example from Buzau Sucarpathians, Romania

Malek Z, Boerboom L, & Glade T (2015). Future forest cover change scenarios with implications for landslide risk: an example from Buzau Sucarpathians, Romania. Environmental Management 56 (5): 1228-1243. DOI:10.1007/s00267-015-0577-y.

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Abstract

This study focuses on future forest cover change in Buzau Subcarpathians, a landslide prone region in Romania. Past and current trends suggest that the area might expect a future increase in deforestation. We developed spatially explicit scenarios until 2040 to analyze the spatial pattern of future forest cover change and potential changes to landslide risk. First, we generated transition probability maps using the weights of evidence method, followed by a cellular automata allocation model. We performed expert interviews, to develop two future forest management scenarios. The Alternative scenario (ALT) was defined by 67 % more deforestation than the Business as Usual scenario (BAU). We integrated the simulated scenarios with a landslide susceptibility map. In both scenarios, most of deforestation was projected in areas where landslides are less likely to occur. Still, 483 (ALT) and 76 (BAU) ha of deforestation were projected on areas with a high-landslide occurrence likelihood. Thus, deforestation could lead to a local-scale increase in landslide risk, in particular near or adjacent to forestry roads. The parallel process of near 10 % forest expansion until 2040 was projected to occur mostly on areas with high-landslide susceptibility. On a regional scale, forest expansion could so result in improved slope stability. We modeled two additional scenarios with an implemented landslide risk policy, excluding high-risk zones The reduction of deforestation on high-risk areas was achieved without a drastic decrease in the accessibility of the areas. Together with forest expansion, it could therefore be used as a risk reduction strategy.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Risk & Resilience (RISK)
Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV)
Bibliographic Reference: Environmental Management; 56(5):1228-1243 [November 2015] (Published online 30 June 2015)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:52
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 12:11
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/11359

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