Traditional Agricultural Practices, Land Cover Diversity and Biodiversity in the Southern Podpolanie Region

  • Martina SlámováEmail author
  • Peter Jančura
  • Vladimíra Fabriciusová
  • Boris Beláček
  • Katarína Zrníková
  • Zlatica Prídavková
Part of the Environmental History book series (ENVHIS, volume 5)


Studied area is located in the vicinity of the Poľana Protected Landscape Area, where “Man and the Biosphere Programme” is implemented under the auspices of the UNESCO organization. Region was colonized during the 17th century by pastorals and later by peasants. Relatively, late colonization process was caused by harsh climatic, soil, and terrain conditions, which were not very favourable for agriculture. Region was sparsely populated. Later, after deforestation, specific form of scattered settlements developed and together with small agricultural plots have persisted till today in the landscape. Region has never undergone land consolidation reforms. Traditionally, beef cattle is bred. Cereals, potatoes, and cabbage are planted on slightly fertile sandy loam Cambisols. Summer seasons are usually dry and it was the reason for the development of irrigation channel system. We identified traditional agricultural plots, historical irrigation channels, and biotopes in the field (2013). We evaluated diversity and heterogeneity of land cover and we assessed significance of biotopes. Data are evaluated in a transect (from the valley flat to the watershed). Traditional agricultural plots with irrigation channels positively affected land cover diversity and biodiversity. We suggest preservation of heterogeneous land cover, which is managed by traditional agricultural practices by local inhabitants, regarding principles rising from the European Landscape Convention (CoE 2000).


Traditional agricultural plots Historical irrigation channels Biotopes Land cover diversity Landscape value Biocultural diversity 



The paper was financially supported by the Cultural and Education Grant Agency—contract no. 011TUZ-4/2012 (90 %). The work is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, Research and Development Operational Programme, Grant No. ITMS 26220120069—Centre of Excellence for Decision Support in Forest and Country.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martina Slámová
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peter Jančura
    • 1
  • Vladimíra Fabriciusová
    • 2
  • Boris Beláček
    • 2
  • Katarína Zrníková
    • 1
  • Zlatica Prídavková
    • 1
  1. 1.Technical University in ZvolenZvolenSlovakia
  2. 2.Landscape Protected Area PoľanaZvolenSlovakia

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