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Biodiversity and Transformation: A Crimean Affair

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Author(s): ADRYI YENA | ANTON DRESCHER | BOHDAN PROTS | ERHARD SCHULZ

Journal: Romanian Review of Regional Studies
ISSN 1841-1576

Volume: II;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 3;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: Crimean peninsula | Biodiversity | Landscape evolution

ABSTRACT
The Crimean peninsula is a perfect example for the discrepancies between the approach of zonality taking the main vegetation and soil formations mainly as climate dependent and so as natural and the acceptance of an accelerated development of cultural landscapes. Crimea underwent several periods of profound economic ethnic and cultural changes comparable to its present dimension of “transformation”, which always affected the exploitation of natural resources. Thus only a few examples of “real steppe” exist between the extensively or intensively settled and cultivated areas. However several reports on intensive cereal cultivation on the Crimean plains during Greek, Hellenistic and Byzanthinian times may shed another light to the assumed natural grassland vegetation (cf. Mack & Carter 2003). Thus the question for the “steppe” as a grassland-chernosem system should be discussed again. The fact of predominance of cultural landscape systems on the peninsula should necessarily be incorporated in all conservation plans. The exclusion of further economic use or its profound change will again start processes of succession, and finally the goal of the preservation of human's modified ecosystem will fail. Moreover the Crimean peninsula perfectly proves the necessity of incorporation of the historical and cultural changes of landscapes in order to understand their development and dynamics for a better and appropriate management.
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