GIS assessment of landform diversity covered by natural protected areas in Romania
Authors: Alexandru-Ionuţ PETRIŞOR*
Affiliation: “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest, Romania
National Institute for Research and Development in Spatial and Urban Planning, Bucharest, Romania
ABSTRACT. The richness of the natural heritage of Romania pleads for the need of conserving its geodiversity and biodiversity. The natural protected areas (reserves) should reflect the national biogeographical diversity. Geographical Information Systems provide a methodology to assess whether this conservation goal is met. This paper focuses on employing the GIS methodology to assess whether existing natural protected areas reflect the national geodiversity, particularly the diversity of landforms. Results suggest that high regions (mountains, hills and plateaus) are well covered, including over 50% of each type of reserve, while plains are covered lesser. The expansion of protected areas by declaring new sites is already a priority of the governmental agenda; nevertheless, plain regions should be considered first when choosing new sites to constitute a reserve.
Keywords: GIS, natural protected areas, landforms, biodiversity, geodiversity