We propose instead a cultural explanation for this late deforestation: the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in Bulgaria (1396), Romanian Principalities (1417 for the Wallachia; 1498 for Moldavia; 1526 for Transylvania) and Serbia (1455). The Ottoman-ruled Bulgaria and Serbia and especially the vassal Romanian
principalities provided a significant part of the empire’s resource provisioning including “wheat, honey, timber, and above all, sheep” ( White, 2011). Tariquidar ic50 We propose that deforestation of highly erodible alpine settings that led to the five-fold increase of sediment load on the Danube ( Giosan et al., 2012) reflects this increased demand for timber and especially for sheep by the Ottoman Porte. Indeed, zooarchaeological evaluations
for medieval Moldavian towns ( Stanc and Bejenaru, 2013) shows that before the Ottoman expansion in the region, cattle and pig dominated the local diet. In a short time, by the end of the 16th century, Moldavia alone may have provided 300,000 sheep to Constantinople (Istanbul), out of an estimated 400–500,000 sent by the entire northern Balkans and Romanian principalities ( White, 2011). Such radical changes in animal husbandry suggest that the region adapted to meet the religious dietary requirements and the huge demand of the suzerain Islamic empire by deforesting alpine lands for pasture. Currently, despite BGB324 a 70% sediment deficit accrued after extensive damming in the watershed during the Communist industrialization of Romania in the late 20th century (McCarney-Castle et al., 2012), Danube delta is better positioned compared to other deltas to withstand in the short run the ongoing rise in sea level (e.g., Cazenave et al., 2002). This is due to a combination of reduced subsidence and anthropogenically-augmented sediment trapping on the delta plain (Giosan et al., 2013). That holds true in large part for the internal lobes of Chilia I and II; furthermore, ongoing and planned restoration measures such as dike removal (e.g., Schneider et al., 2008) may re-establish sediment
retention and ecological functions even for their sectors that were drained for agriculture or diked for fisheries. On the other hand, the open coast Chilia III lobe coming under increased Alanine-glyoxylate transaminase wave dominance due to the sediment deficit has become the most dynamic coast of the entire Danube delta (Fig. 4c). Besides the Old Stambul mouth that advances into a shallow lagoon, the only other stable stretch of the coast is linked to the construction of a protecting jetty at the Bastroe mouth, built as a part of a large navigation project. This led to updrift beach ridge progradation as the southward longshore drift is trapped by the jetty and downdrift spit extension under a reversed drift in the lee of the jetty (Fig. 4c).