LANDSCAPE TRANSFORMATIONS ON MOHÁCS ISLAND FOLLOWING RIVER REGULATIONS

Mohács (or formerly Margitta) Island is a river island of the Danube, located in the southern part of the Great Hungarian Plain, partly extending to Croatia. River regulations in the 19th century and related inland water drainage works reshaped the landscape pattern and farming systems of Mohács Island. First, second, and third military survey maps and a lesser known detailed survey, the so-called Danube mappation, were utilized for the reconstruction of the landscape in the 18th and 19th centuries. The scanned map-sheets were digitized and converted into a vector landscape map. These results were compared with a landscape map drawn on the basis of the 1952 topographic map. Our studies were supplemented with ethnographic data. As a result, we proved that the proportion of wetlands and riparian forests extremely reduced (Table 1, Fig. 8). At the same time, the rate of arable lands increased from zero to seventyone percent until the middle of the 20th century. Although, the process was not linear. By the end of the 19th century the island became very swampy which can be seen on our generated map from the third military survey (Fig. 6, Table , Fig. 8). Moreover, our maps present how many different riparian habitats were able to be found on the island and for how long. Finally, it can be stated which are the areas where inland water damage is expected and which are most suitable for arable cultivation.

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