The influence of environmental drivers on long-term land cover changes in two mountainous villages in Central Slovakia is assessed in this paper using generalized linear models (GLM). Historical cadastral maps and aerial photographs were analyzed to describe the land cover change over five time horizons ranging from 1860 to the present, using the CORINE Land Cover classification. The hypothesis that higher slope, elevation and distance to settlement strongly influence lower intensities of land use was mostly confirmed, but geology was also identified as an important factor. The category of ‘forests’ was the most accounted for land cover class, while arable land and grassland were only considerably affected by the drivers in some periods. On the other hand, shrubs were almost completely unrelated to the investigated drivers. The areas of land cover change were not so well explained by the GLMs.
Vladimír Falťan, Lucia Krajčírovičová, František Petrovič and Miloslav Khun
The aim of this research is to present the application of the detailed geoecological research for use by the identification of natural elements of terroir, based on the example of cadastral area Krátke Kesy. The characteristics of georelief (influencing the microclimate of vineyards) and soil characteristics (affecting the vineyard nutrition) are the most important elements of a terroir on a local scale. We present maps of 10 types of geoecological complexes in topic dimension, whose borders were allocated on the base of georelief as a leading factor of regionalization. Foot slopes, transport slopes and terraces prevail in the vineyard. Cultivated Haplic and Luvi-Haplic Chernozem of the Danube Lowland have excellent conditions for precision agriculture. The impact of soil factors on vineyards was evaluated with the use of accredited laboratory analysis. Using statistical methods, we confirmed the hypothesis that the relationship between observed relevant soil elements in the study area and sugar content of grape is direct, and between the soil elements and acids in must is indirect. The biggest dependence was seen for magnesium, zinc and copper. Research results were presented in the form of maps and tables that can find use in vineyard and landscape-ecological practice.
Hana Skokanová, Vladimír Falťan and Marek Havlíček
The article compares and points out differences in driving forces of four main landscape change processes that shaped post-socialist countries and old democratic countries of Central Europe during the last two centuries. Studying landscape change processes and corresponding driving forces helps in understanding patterns of present landscape and can help among others in better prediction of future landscape change trends. Here, the presented results are based on review of scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journals between 2000 and 2014. Driving forces affecting these processes were grouped into four categories. Economic forces drove mainly agricultural intensification; agricultural land abandonment and urbanisation and were pronounced especially in the second half of the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st century. Technological driving forces affected agricultural intensification especially in the 19th century and the second half of the 20th century while cultural driving forces had the biggest impact on urbanisation at the beginning of the 21st century. Political driving forces affected agricultural intensification, urbanisation as well as agricultural land abandonment and were pronounced mainly during the second half of the 20th century in the post-socialist countries. Political forces in the form of subsidies drove agricultural extensification at the beginning of the 21st century. The drivers for the agricultural intensification as well as urbanisation seem to be similar for both old democratic and post-socialist countries. In contrast, agricultural land abandonment in the old democratic countries was driven by technological, cultural and economic driving forces while in the post-socialist countries the political driving forces were mainly responsible. Changes in systems for subsidies and changes in the agricultural commodity markets are also responsible for different frequencies and rates of extensification of agriculture between the two groups of countries.
Marián Gábor, Vladimír Falťan and František Petrovič
The main goal of this paper is the application of qualitative and quantitative free available data for geographical delineation based on reconnaissance research in vineyard landscape. The results of delineation are useful in agricultural management or environmental planning. Our delineation may serve as the basic information on site conditions of vineyards near Pezinok (Slovakia), with historical use from the beginning of 13th century. We have studied the actual land cover and classified physiotopes of the study area into a set of relatively homogenous and coherent landscape units. The landscape units defined in this work consist of homogenous physiotopes in terms of their structural and functional characteristics, which have been shaped by natural factors (land-forms, soil type and subtype, geological base, elevation, slope, aspect, solar radiation and normal different vegetation index (NDVI)). The characteristics were used to define 23 landscape units in qualitative delineation (based on both qualitative and quantitative data). Only quantitative characteristics – elevation, aspect, slope, solar radiation and NDVI, were used in a K-means cluster analysis to define the 17 landscape units. The number of landscape units was computed by WB-index, and standardisation of data was computed by factor analysis. The whole classification process was statistically significant. The strength of the grouping procedure was tested by using Discriminant Analysis, which found that 92.70% of objects in qualitative and 98.50% of objects in quantitative delineation were correctly classified.
Zuzana Tarasovičová, Martin Saksa, Tibor Blažík and Vladimír Falťan
Transformational changes after 1989 were primarily caused by major social changes, including those in the economy and agriculture. Slovakia is also affect by globalization processes. The aim of this article is to characterize the changes in agricultural land use and their spatial distribution in relation to the political transformation of society after 1989, using the Dunajská Streda, Levice, Prievidza and Stará Ľubovňa districts as examples. These districts contain all individual agricultural production types in Slovakia. Changes in agricultural land use were analyzed on the basis of the total areas of land use categories for these districts between 1980 and 2010 and for municipal cadastral areas in selected districts between 2000 and 2010. Two basic indicators of changes in land use were selected for this purpose. The first was the percentage increase or decrease in individual land use categories and the second was the dominant processes in land use based on analysis of the main landscape processes. The cumulative surfaces of selected crops and their products were analyzed using a simple continuous diagram depicting the course of harvesting areas between 1980 and 2010. Crop yields were analyzed by linear regression. The tendency for disappearance of agricultural land use was confirmed in the less agriculturally active areas of Slovakia. This decrease in agricultural land use was at the expense of an increase in urban areas and in the processes of greening, forestation and water body construction.