Driving Forces, Threats and Trends Relating to Mosaics in Agricultural Landscape in Slovakia

Jana Spulerova 1 , Marta Dobrovodská 1  and Dagmar Stefunkova 1
  • 1 Institute of Landscape Ecology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Stefanikova 3, 814 99 Bratislava, Slovakia

Driving Forces, Threats and Trends Relating to Mosaics in Agricultural Landscape in Slovakia

The present cultural landscape is a result of development which has been carried out for several thousand years. The land - use changes, driving forces, threats and trends relating to agricultural landscape mosaics in Slovakia were studied using examples of model areas with preserved landscape mosaics: the villages Zuberec - Habovka, Liptovská Teplička, Osturňa and the town of Svätý Jur.

The primary land cover of the Slovak republic was mostly forest. The outstanding feature of the landscape, as a result of settlement, deforestation and colonisation, was a landscape characterised by a high biodiversity and cultural mosaic because of the heterogeneity of land forms and cover, relief segmentation, and a variety of farming products. The most important interventions in the landscape started in the second half of the 20th century. Intensification of agriculture was linked with collectivisation and removal of hedges and riparian vegetation, decreasing the mosaic of arable fields, grasslands and woods. Landscape mosaics were transformed into large fields. Only in less accessible, less fertile localities was the original agricultural landscape partially preserved, and did not lose the shape of a cultural-historical countryside. At the same time, partial abandonment and reforestation has started as a consequence of changes in employment patterns and the decline of populations.

After 1990 the landscape was partly retrospectively diversified by virtue of land restitution. Although the decline of the traditional use of farmland is noticeable in Slovakia, in some regions local inhabitants are strongly linked to traditional land use. In less accessible, less fertile localities, abandonment of traditional agriculture and succession dominance of forest continues. The challenge to maintain the original agrarian landscape could be supported by agro-environmental schemes. However, localities with beneficial geographical positions are threatened. The town of Svätý Jur faces non-regulated urbanisation, old vineyards are being replaced by new villas and houses for recreation. The villages of Zuberec - Habovka face non regulated tourism. The marginal sites, Osturňa, Liptovská Teplička are threatened by abandonment and the subsequent overgrowth by woody vegetation.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Antrop, M. (2005). Why landscapes of the past are important for the future? Landscape and Urban Planning 70: 21-34.

  • Augustyn, M. (2004). Anthropogenic Pressure in the Environmental Parameters of the Bieszczady Mountains. Biosphere Conservation, 6: 43-53.

  • Bičík, I., Jeleček, L. & Štepánek, V. (2001). Land-use changes and their social driving forces in Czechia in the 19th and 20th centuries. Land Use Policy, 18 (1): 65-73.

  • Bičík, I., Jančák, V. (2006). Czech agriculture in the integrating Europe. Acta Geographica Universitatis Comenianae, 48: 155-165

  • Birks, H., Birks, H. J. B., Kaland, P. E. & Moe, D. (2004). The Cultural Landscape - Past, Present and Future. Cambridge University Press, 593 pp.

  • Bezák, P., Petrovič, F. (2006). Agriculture, Landscape, Biodiversity: Scenarios and stakeholer perceptions in the Poloniny National park (NE Slovakia). Ekológia (Bratislava), 25 (1): 82-93.

  • Brodová, M. (2007). Úloha nevýrobných funkcií poľnohospodárstva v udržateľnom rozvoji vidieka a ich kvantifikácia. Výskumný ústav ekonomiky poľnohospodárstva a potravinárstva, Bratislava, 40 pp.

  • Bruun, H. H. (2000). Patterns of species richness in dry grassland patches in an agricultural landscape, Ecography 23: 641-650.

  • Cousins, S. A. O., Eriksson O. (2001). Plant species occurrences in a rural hemiboreal landscape: effects of remnant habitats, site history, topography and soil, Ecography 24: 461-469.

  • Cousins, S. A. O., Lavorel, S. & Davies, I. (2003). Modelling the effects of landscape pattern and grazing regimes on the persistence of plant species with high conservation value in grasslands in south-eastern Sweden. Landscape Ecology, 18: 315-332.

  • Dobrovodská, M. (1998). Development of the relationship between man and landscape in mountain agricultural landscape. In: Miklós, L. (Ed.): Evaluation and perception of Landscape patterns. pp. 101-106. Banská Štiavnica

  • Dobrovodská, M. (2003). Vývoj vzťahov medzi krajinou a človekom na modelovách územiach v katastroch obcí Liptovská Teplička, Osturňa a malá Franková. Dissertation, Institute of Landscape Ecology SAS, Bratislava, 141 pp.

  • Dobrovodská, M., Štefunková, D. (1996). Historical agricultural forms of anthropogenous relief in arable-meadow-pasture landscape and vineyard landscape. Acta Environmentalica UC (Bratislava), 7: 85 - 91

  • Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA) (2001). DPSIR framework for State of Environment Reporting. European Environment Agency (EEA). Copenhagen. Retrieved June 2009, from http://www.unep.org/dewa/assessments/ecosystems/water/vitalwater/12.htm#13

  • European Environment Agency (2004). Agriculture and the environment in the EU accession countries. Copenhagen, Environmental issue report 37 European Landscape convention, 2000, Florence. Retrieved June 2009, from http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/176.htm

  • Feranec, J., Šúri, M., Ot'ahel', J., Cebecauer, T., Kolář, J., Soukup, T., Zdeňková, D., Waszmuth, J., Vâjdea, V., Vîjdea, A. M. & Nitica C. (2000). Inventory of major landscape changes in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovak Republic 1970s - 1990s. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. 2 (2): 129-139.

  • Huba, M. (1988). Historické krajinné štruktúry. Ochranca prírody, odborná príloha spravodajca MV SZOPK Bratislava, 62 pp.

  • Hunziker, M. (1995). The spontaneous reforestation in abandoned agricultural lands: perception and aesthetic assessment by locals and tourists. Landscape Urban Planning, 31: 399-410.

  • Krnáčová, Z, Štefunková, D., Dobrovodská, M., Hrnčiarová, T., Pavličková, K., Pauditšová, E., Potočková, L., Košovič, P., Kubíček, F., Janotka, V. & Gajdoš, V. (2005). Integrovaný rozvoj turizmu v mikroregióne Svätý Jur (Integrated development of tourism in Svätý Jur microregion). Bratislava: Institute of Landscape Ecology of SAS, 199 pp.

  • Mac Donald, D., Crabtree, J. R., Wiesinger, G., Dax, T., Stamou, N., Fleury, P., Lazpita, J. G. & Gibon, A. (2000): Agricultural abandonment in mountain areas of Europe: environmental consequences and policy response. Journal of Environmental Management, 59: 47-69.

  • Kozak, J., Troll, M. & Widacki, W. (1999). Semi-natural landscapes of the Western Beskidy Mts. Ekologia, Bratislava, 18/1: 53-62.

  • Lindborg, R., Eriksson, O. (2004). Historical landscape connectivity affects present plant species diversity. Ecology 85:1840-1845.

  • Lindborg, R., Eriksson, O. (2005). Functional response to land use change in grasslands: Comparing species and trait data. Ecoscience, 12 (2): 183-191.

  • Lipsky, Z. (1995). The changing face of the Czech rural landscape. Landscape and Urban Planning 3/1-3: 39-45

  • Mather, A. S. (1992). The forest transition. Area 24/4: 367-379.

  • Maciejowski, W. (2001). Changes of natural landscape in the Beskid Niski Mountais during 1938-1998 as exemplified by the Ropianka stream catchment. Ekologia, Bratislava, 20, Suppl. 3: 100-109.

  • Piussi, P. (2000). Expansion of European mountain forests. In: Price, M. F., Butt, N. (Eds): Forests in sustainable mountain development: a state of knowledge report for 2000. pp. 19-25. IUFRO Research Series 5, CABI Publishing, Wallingford-New York.

  • Ružička, M., Miklós, L. (1982). Landscape ecological planning (LANDEP) in territorial planning. Ekológia (ČSSR), 1: 297-312.

  • Špulerová, J. (2008a). Land use changes in the Veselovianka river catchment in the Horná Orava region. Ekológia (Bratislava), 27/3: 326-337.

  • Špulerová, J. (2008b). Succession changes in extensively used agricultural land. Ekológia (Bratislava). 27/1: 54-64.

  • Štefunková, D., Dobrovodská, M. (1997). Historické poľnohospodárske formy využitia zeme - ich úloha v trvalo udržateľnom rozvoji (Historical agricultural forms of land use - significance in sustainable development). Acta Environmentalica Universitatis Comenianae Bratislava, 7: 149-153.

  • Václavík, T., Rogan, J. (2009). Identifying Trends in Land Use/Land Cover Changes in the Context of Post-Socialist Transformation in Central Europe: A Case Study of the Greater Olomouc Region, Czech Republic. GIScience & Remote Sensing, 46, No. 1: 54-76.

  • Weiss, G. (2004). The political practice of mountain forest restoration—comparing restoration concepts in four European countries. Forest Ecology and Management, 195/1-2: 1-13.

  • Young, J., Watt, A., Nowicki, P., Alard, D., Clitherow, J., Henle, K., Johnson, R., Laczko, E., McCracken, D. & Matouch, S. (2005). Towards sustainable land use: identifying and managing the conflicts between human activities and biodiversity conservation in Europe. Biodiversity and Conservation 14/7: 1641-1661.


Journal + Issues