Abandonment and Recultivation of Agricultural Lands in Slovakia—Patterns and Determinants from the Past to the Future

Pazúr, Robert; Lieskovský, Juraj; Bürgi, Matthias; Müller, Daniel; Lieskovský, Tibor; Zhang, Zhen; Prischchepov, Alexander V. (2020). Abandonment and Recultivation of Agricultural Lands in Slovakia—Patterns and Determinants from the Past to the Future. Land, 9(9), p. 316. MDPI 10.3390/land9090316

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Central and Eastern Europe has experienced fundamental land use changes since the
collapse of socialism around 1990. We analyzeanalyzed the patterns and determinants of agricultural
land abandonment and recultivation in Slovakia during the transition from a state-controlled economy
to an open-market economy (1986 to 2000) and the subsequent accession to the European Union
(2000 to 2010). We quantified agricultural land-use change based on available maps derived from
30-m multi-seasonal Landsat imagery and analyzeanalyzed the socioeconomic and biophysical
determinants of the observed agricultural land-use changes using boosted regression trees. We used a
scenario-based approach to assess future agricultural land abandonment and recultivation until 2060.
The maps of agricultural land use analysis reveal that cropland abandonment was the dominant
land use process on 11% of agricultural land from 1986 to 2000, and on 6% of the agricultural land
from 2000 to 2010. Recultivation occurred on approximately 2% of agricultural land in both periods.
Although most abandoned land was located in the plains, the rate of abandonment was twice as high
in the mountainous landscapes. The likelihood of abandonment increased with increased distance
from the national capital (Bratislava), decreased with an increase of annual mean temperatures and
was higher in proximity to forest edges and on steeper slopes. Recultivation was largely determined
by the opposite effects. The scenario for 2060 suggests that future agricultural land abandonment and
recultivation may largely be determined by climate and terrain conditions and, to a lesser extent, by
proximity to economic centers. Our study underscores the value of synergetic use of satellite data
and land-use modeling to provide the input for land planning, and to anticipate the potential effects
of changing environmental and policy conditions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability > Unit Land Systems and Sustainable Land Management (LS-SLM)

UniBE Contributor:

Bürgi, Matthias

Subjects:

900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISSN:

2073-445X

Publisher:

MDPI

Language:

English

Submitter:

Aline Barbara Wicki

Date Deposited:

17 Sep 2020 16:15

Last Modified:

17 Sep 2020 16:15

Publisher DOI:

10.3390/land9090316

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.146565

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/146565

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