How Socio-Economic Drivers Explain Landscape Soil Erosion Regulation Services in Polish Catchments
Authors: Istanbuly, Mustafa Nur; Krasa, Josef; Jabbarian Amiri, Bahman
Most studies that address the relationship between socio-economic characteristics and soil erosion focus on the effects of soil erosion on socio-economic conditions at different levels, from global to smallholder. Few, if any, efforts are made to address the influence of socio-economic variables on the soil erosion rate as an indicator of landscape degradation. The present study was carried out using spatial data from 402 catchments that cover Poland, to find out how socio-economic variables, which include area-weighted average income per capita (PLN km−2), area-weighted average gross domestic product (PLN km−2), population density (person km−2), and human development index can drive the soil erosion rate (kg ha−1 yr−1), along with annual precipitation, soil and geomorphological variables that include soil organic carbon content, soil water content, clay ratio, stream gradient, and terrain slope. The results showed that the soil erosion rate is indirectly driven by the socio-economic variables in the study catchments, as it is alleviated by increasing population density, the area-weighted average gross domestic product, and the human development index. Furthermore, analyzing the incremental relationship between soil erosion rate and the area-weighted average of socio-economic variables revealed that no uniform change can be observed in the relationship between the area-weighted average socio-economic variables and soil erosion in the study catchments.
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