Impacts of intensive agriculture on current rural landscape - A case study for South Moravian Landscape, Czech Republic
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The landscape in several countries of Central and Eastern Europe went through the most dramatic change in the socialist period. Agricultural land was considered only as a productive area. The size of arable land plots increased and stabilizing elements in the landscape were removed. This land consolidation of agriculture has led to the development of soil erosion. This paper presents a case study focused on comparison of landscape structure of model territory in two periods. The first period shows landscape before collectivization of agriculture, and the second one presents current landscape. The research dealt especially with evaluation of ecological stability and water erosion risk of the landscape. The identification of land use trends helps to characterize landscape of the model territory during monitored period. The following trends: decreasing area of arable land, increasing area of built-up areas and other areas and increase area of vineyards showed different character of current landscape. The evaluation of ecological stability confirmed the loss of stable landscape elements. Based on the calculated values of ecological stability coefficient, the evaluated landscape has degraded from the category of "disturbed landscape capable of self-regulation" to "devastated landscape". The results also show the vulnerability of current large plots of arable land and vineyards to water erosion.