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Kopacz M.,Institute of Technology and Life science at Falenty | Twardy S.,Institute of Technology and Life science at Falenty
Journal of Water and Land Development

The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in the agricultural land use with particular focus on pastures and meadows in relation to transformation in agriculture in selected communes located in mountain areas of the Raba River catchment. Changes in husbandry were described with production parameters such as animal stock (expressed in LU) and NPK load originating from all agricultural sources. The area of agricultural lands, particularly arable lands, decreased in the years 1980-2005 but meadow areas increased. A close relationship was shown between the reduction of agricultural production, expressed in animal stock, and changes in NPK loads. The conclusions from the paper will help shaping the functional space in mountain areas and sustainable development there. Source

Kipling R.P.,Aberystwyth University | Virkajarvi P.,Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke | Breitsameter L.,Leibniz University of Hanover | Curnel Y.,Walloon Agricultural Research Center | And 19 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment

Grassland-based ruminant production systems are integral to sustainable food production in Europe, converting plant materials indigestible to humans into nutritious food, while providing a range of environmental and cultural benefits. Climate change poses significant challenges for such systems, their productivity and the wider benefits they supply. In this context, grassland models have an important role in predicting and understanding the impacts of climate change on grassland systems, and assessing the efficacy of potential adaptation and mitigation strategies. In order to identify the key challenges for European grassland modelling under climate change, modellers and researchers from across Europe were consulted via workshop and questionnaire. Participants identified fifteen challenges and considered the current state of modelling and priorities for future research in relation to each. A review of literature was undertaken to corroborate and enrich the information provided during the horizon scanning activities. Challenges were in four categories relating to: 1) the direct and indirect effects of climate change on the sward 2) climate change effects on grassland systems outputs 3) mediation of climate change impacts by site, system and management and 4) cross-cutting methodological issues. While research priorities differed between challenges, an underlying theme was the need for accessible, shared inventories of models, approaches and data, as a resource for stakeholders and to stimulate new research. Developing grassland models to effectively support efforts to tackle climate change impacts, while increasing productivity and enhancing ecosystem services, will require engagement with stakeholders and policy-makers, as well as modellers and experimental researchers across many disciplines. The challenges and priorities identified are intended to be a resource 1) for grassland modellers and experimental researchers, to stimulate the development of new research directions and collaborative opportunities, and 2) for policy-makers involved in shaping the research agenda for European grassland modelling under climate change. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. Source

Kowalczyk A.,Institute of Technology and Life science at Falenty | Twardy S.,Institute of Technology and Life science at Falenty | Kuzniar A.,Institute of Technology and Life science at Falenty
Journal of Water and Land Development

Soil erosion by water is an important economical issue, because it strongly degrades the environment. This phenomenon occurs in the Carpathian mountain areas, and it is caused largely by inappropriate land use. And in the last quarter of the century, in whole region significant structural changes took place-an increase of grassland areas. Research was made in the period of 2008-2010 in the Biała Woda catchment area (10.91 km2)-the Carpathian Mts. The study area under discussion is characterised by low share of arable lands and by high contribution of the permanent grasslands. In this paper the mass of eroded materials was determined by applying of the universal soil losses equation-USLE (Wischeier and Smith, 1978), using main factors, which have the impact on shaping the catchment area e.g. geological structure, terrain relief, the soil, climate, particularly precipitation, land use and slopes. Main attention was focused on agricultural land use (grasslands), hydrographical and road network. Sometimes the field roads becomes streams (gullies, which create favourable conditions for linear erosion e.g. for transporting eroded material during, heavy rainfall. Therefore, structural-spatial changes which now are taking place sometimes intensify the erosion process. Source

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