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You are here: Home » Past Issues » Volume 9, 2014 - Number 3 » THE ABANDONMENT OF AGRICULTURAL LAND: A CASE STUDY OF STRELNÍKY, (THE POĽANA BIOSPHERE RESERVE – SLOVAKIA)


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Matej MASNÝ1 & Ľubica ZAUŠKOVÁ2
1Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Matej Bel University,
Tajovského 40, 974 01 Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, E-mail: matej.masny@gmail.com
2Department of Geography, Geology and Landscape Ecology, Faculty of Natural Sciences,
Matej Bel University, Tajovského 40, 974 01 Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, E-mail: l.zauskova@seznam.cz

THE ABANDONMENT OF AGRICULTURAL LAND: A CASE STUDY OF STRELNÍKY, (THE POĽANA BIOSPHERE RESERVE – SLOVAKIA)

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Abstract:

The spreading abandonment of agricultural land represents an opposite situation to the increasing intensification of agriculture in many world counties. As a consequence of the changes in traditional ways of land cultivation in Europe, transformation in diversity, ecosystem structure and land degradation occur. Traditional meadows and pastures are receding due the abandonment and secondary succession succeeds. This causes alterations to ecological processes on both the ecosystem and landscape levels. The most frequently stated reason for land abandonment in the post-communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe is the transformation of socialist agriculture to market economy. UNESCO biosphere reserves - such as Poľana - consist of a network of sites that should represent excellent models for landscape management in preserving a range of broad functions and respecting sustainability principles. This research is intentionally focused on this protected area, analysing agricultural land abandonment on the local level in detail. The abandonment of agricultural land in the studied part of the Poľana Biosphere Reserve points out a legitimate worry about the degradation of landscape functions as a result of uncontrolled forest spreading – reforestation.


Keyword: Agricultural abandonment, The Poľana Biosphere Reserve, GIS, change detection, reforestation, UNESCO


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