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The concept of catena in landscape surveys is used to demonstrate the surroundings of landscape units, their vertical structure and inter-unit processes, as well as the mosaic nature of the landscape. Furthermore, it reflects the structural and functional heterogeneity of the surveyed area, at the same time indicating types of links between landscape units, depending on a variety of geological, habitat-related and biotic conditions, including land use and its transformation arising from anthropopressure.
The catena survey performed included four key morphological and lithological units with varied landscape structure and functioning: glacial upland, vast outwash plains, the Wisła River valley and deepened channel valleys, as well as dune hills and hillocks. The results prove that the functioning of landscape systems depends on the forms of land use and their durability. Characteristics of leading components in catenas are diverse despite a similar genesis of landforms and relief shaping processes.
Majchrowska A.: Abandonment of agricultural land in central Poland and its ecological role. Ekologia (Bratislava), Vol. 32, No. 3, p. 320-327, 2013. The intent of this paper is to give an overview of the ongoing study of farmland abandonment in central Poland. The goal of this project, initiated in 2011, is to provide field-verified information: 1. What is the spatial distribution of abandoned agricultural land in central Poland? How is it related to biophysical features of the study area? 2. What are botanical characteristics of spontaneous vegetation succession in the abandoned agricultural lands? What are their environmental determinants? 3. How do the abandoned lands correspond to existing protected areas? How could they be used to strengthen the ecological landscape structure of central Poland? The paper summarises the general study approach, discusses some methodological difficulties, presents preliminary findings and formulates the expected results.
Zdena Krnáčová, Jura Jhreško, Robert Kanka and Martin Boltižiar
Krnačova Z., Hreško J., Kanka R., Boltižiar M.: The evaluation of ecological factors affecting environmental functions of the soils in area of traditional agrarian structure. Ekologia (Bratislava),Vol. 32, No. 2, p. 248-261, 2013. Cultural landscape can be seen as a result of hundred years of founding and sensitive cultivation of landscape structures respecting natural conditions. Specific geomorphological, climatic as well as social conditions enabled the conservation of original agrarian landscape structures mainly in the marginal regions of Slovakia. They are created by mosaic structures of extensively used small-scale landscape elements of permanent agricultural and arable land. An example of traditional agrarian way of using is foothill meadow-grazing landscape of the village Liptovska Teplička. By using the traditional extensive maintenance of the agricultural landscape, optimal environmental characteristics of soils were preserved. These were modified to some extent by the way of using and management. The submitted contribution is focused on the following:
• Indication of environmental characteristics of soils
• Quantification of the influence of chosen ecological factors on these environmental functions Seven research localities representing main types of the traditional landscape maintenance were chosen for needs of the research of soil and environmental conditions in a relation with the way of using the land and management. In given localities, we chose 21 sampling sites for secondary landscape structure (according to the legend of project Corine Land Cover, 2000), geological, soil, physical, biochemical and chemical conditions evaluation. Environmental functions indication was assessed in the following way: by assigning an amount of organic carbon (Cox) in a standard way (Fiala et al., 1999) for production functions, by assigning a ratio of granular fractions (pipetting method according to Novak) for retention functions. Buffering functions were evaluated potentiometrically by assigning an active soil reaction of pH (H2O) and exchange reaction of pH (KCl) in a soil. Highest values of Cox in the Ap horizon (7.67-6.62%), as well as pH of the soil environment (pH/KCl 7.26-7.21, pH/H2O 7.69-7.68) were assigned to anthrosolic and cultisolic rendzinas of extensively used grasslands. On the contrary, the lowest monitored values of organic matter Cox (2.51-2.53%), as well as pH of the soil environment (pH/KCl 4.81-5.21) (pH/ H2O 5.21-6.19) were indicated for soil subtypes anthrosols of the large fields and lithosol of theextensively used grasslands on non-carbonate substrates. Most favourable production and buffering soil properties were preserved in rendzinas on the carbonate substrates and extensively used meadows. Similarly, this type of soil on limestone used in a form of extensive meadows preserved also the most favourable retention functions according to the stated ratio of granularity fractions. Quantification of the influence of chosen ecological factors on environmental functions was performed using multivariate statistical methods, specifically principal component analysis (PCA). PCA is an indirect gradient analysis using the linear correlation of data, with a biplot as an output. Closeness of points in ordination graph represents their similarity of composition. The CANOCO (Ter Braak, Šmilauer, 2002) software was used to perform the analysis and to create the graph.
Hana Vavrouchová, Mária Pákozdiová and Ilona Svobodová
Our study is focused on the natural environment significance and potential for the development of a wider region. A special emphasis is put on the geographical category of small towns, which play an important role in stabilizing the population of the Czech Republic. In this context, a key factor of planning in the rural region is the demarcation of a catchment region and the determination of its potential. Natural environment (primary landscape structure) is a basic determinant of area development at all the levels. This paper aims at the natural environment analyses of the small towns in the South Moravian Region, with emphasis on the development opportunities and limitations. In this study, small towns are considered to be all the residential units holding a town status, with the exception of district towns and the city of Brno. The study is a part of the research project supported in 2011 by the Internal Grant Agency of Mendel University in Brno titled “Small towns - Motors of the South Moravian countryside development”.