Ecological and Cultural Diversity of Traditional Mountain Agricultural Landscape: A Case Study from Slovakia

  • Jana ŠpulerováEmail author
  • Marta Dobrovodská
  • Stanislav Dávid
  • Ľuboš Halada
  • Peter Gajdoš
Part of the Environmental History book series (ENVHIS, volume 5)


The traditional agricultural landscape in Slovakia reflects the history and long-term mutual relationship between the landscape and generations of farmers, resulting in the occurrence of specific agricultural features. The ecological and cultural diversity of traditional agricultural landscape is evaluated using the example of the area around Liptovská Teplička. This area constitutes a Carpathian montane landscape of steep slopes with small-scale arable fields, grasslands and unproductive elements of plots: balks such as terrace slopes, step bounds, heaps or mounds. Due to heterogeneous natural conditions on the one hand, and specific cultural-historic conditions on the other, there has arisen an agrarian landscape of high landscape diversity and biodiversity. It represents mosaics of unique islands of species-rich plant and animal communities, originated by continuous succession over centuries and dependent on traditional cultivation. We have studied the connections between development of cultural-historic conditions (settlement, land law, social and political environment, methods of agricultural cultivation) and the biodiversity of individual historical landscape elements (plots of arable land, grassland, balks). Our ecological assessment was centred on evaluation of species richness, habitat diversity and vulnerability of species based on vegetation and zoological surveys and existing ecological conditions. The cultural and historical value was determined by the extent of preservation of traditional cultivation techniques and original land terracing with preserved forms of anthropogenic relief, as well as by the presence of small architecture elements.


Biodiversity Bounds Traditional agricultural landscape Cultural value Biocultural diversity 



This research was conducted within the grant project of the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak Academy of Sciences Grant No. 2/0158/14 “Diversity of agricultural landscape and its ecosystem services” and the project of the Slovak Research and Development Agency No. APVV-0669-11 “Atlas of landscape archetypes of Slovakia”.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jana Špulerová
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marta Dobrovodská
    • 1
  • Stanislav Dávid
    • 2
  • Ľuboš Halada
    • 2
  • Peter Gajdoš
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Landscape EcologySASBratislavaSlovak Republic
  2. 2.Institute of Landscape EcologySASNitraSlovak Republic

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