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The impact of land degradation on landscape in Northern Greece

Research paper by B. Anthopoulou, A. Panagopoulos, Th. Karyotis

Indexed on: 07 Nov '06Published on: 07 Nov '06Published in: Landslides



Abstract

Large areas of Greece are seriously degraded and landscape deterioration is mainly influenced by climatic factors, geological factors, overgrazing, forest fires and urbanisation. The examined area of Saint Panteleimon is located in northern Greece on the foot-slope of Mt. Olympus and exhibits aesthetic beauty of significant value owed to specific ecological, historical and cultural conditions. Due to intensive erosion and other geological factors, the old village, which is characterised by unique architecture, was abandoned. In the study area is located the castle of Platamon, which is dated to 1222 a.d. Overgrazing, which was very common a few decades ago, has enhanced erosion and affected the surrounding landscape. Another case of degradation concerns forestland, where erosion and landslides have influenced the loss of surface soil layers resulting in vegetation decline. The erosion impact increased due to urbanisation and recreational activities. Management of degradation at a local scale is very complex and requires a multidisciplinary approach. Recent works for soil stabilisation in conjunction with efforts for maintaining and recovering the protective vegetation have increased the degree of protection. Priorities for environmental protection in the study area are proposed to focus on reforestation, rational management of rangeland and restoration of hydrologic conditions of the watersheds.