The present paper analyses the context, nature, intensity and effects of the changes in the land use and land cover within the Danube Floodplain, between Drobeta Turnu-Severin and Bechet. The study follows the changes undertaken by the natural environment during ca. two hundred years (end of 18th century – present day).
As land use involves the transformation and management of the natural elements to the human benefit, the environmental changes within the Danube Floodplain were less the result of natural conditions and mostly the outcome of human impact. The latter exerted a highly significant influence mainly through the construction of longitudinal or partition flood-protection dykes, of the irrigation or drainage canals network, but also through the agricultural use of large surfaces naturally covered with water, forests, or reed. Nevertheless, the importance of the natural processes in the study of land use/land cover shows a growing trend over the last decades, when especially climatic changes are taken into consideration.
The importance of the present research is furthermore underlined by the strong connection that exist among the land use/land cover change and the dynamics of biological diversity, risk phenomena and sustainable development within this damaged environment, in the framework of its particular natural and social-demographical features.