Moravian Land Archives

Brno, Czech Republic

Moravian Land Archives

Brno, Czech Republic
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Trnka M.,Mendel University in Brno | Trnka M.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Brazdil R.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Brazdil R.,Masaryk University | And 25 more authors.
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology | Year: 2012

This study focuses on the changes in the yield stability of winter wheat and spring barley over the past 140 years and changes in the weather-yield relationships. The study area is located in the Czech Republic in eastern Central Europe between 48°37'-49°30'N and 15°29'-17°55'E and includes 4900km2 of arable land within eight districts for which yield data were collected for the years 1869-1913 and 1961-2007. The cropping systems in the region are dominated by rain-fed production of winter wheat, spring barley and winter rape. The yields for winter wheat and spring barley have increased by a factor of 2-3 since the late 19th century, whereas the temperature and precipitation patterns showed trends toward warmer and drier conditions. There was a considerable increase in the inter-annual variability of the absolute yields in the districts. When the variability was evaluated in relative terms (i.e., compared with the yield level), it showed no change or insignificant increases in the warmest and driest regions. The study also found that the sensitivity to inter-seasonal temperature increase was much more pronounced during 1961-2007 than at the end of the 19th century and that an increase of the mean temperature by 1°C led to yield decreases of up to 11% for winter wheat and up to 10% for spring barley. In contrast, the same temperature increase during the 1869-1913 period would have caused yield decreases of up to 8% and 5%, respectively. In the 1961-2007 period, the negative relationship between the temperature and yields of barley (wheat) was highly significant in seven (eight) of eight districts compared with only four (five) with a much weaker correlation in 1869-1913. During the early period, drier conditions had very small negative or even slightly positive effects on yields, whereas at the end of the 20th century, the May and June drought became a factor that explained a considerable proportion of the yield variability. This was the case especially for spring barley, which is more vulnerable to droughts than is winter wheat. The negative effects of increasing temperature and drought on grain yield were most pronounced in the districts that are currently the warmest and driest. The increasing vulnerability of wheat and barley production to increasing temperatures and droughts over time should be addressed by plant breeders, as there are relatively few adaptation options available to farmers except switching to other crops, which cannot fully substitute for wheat and barley. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Brazdil R.,Masaryk University | Brazdil R.,Global Change Research Center | Dobrovolny P.,Masaryk University | Dobrovolny P.,Global Change Research Center | And 10 more authors.
Climate of the Past | Year: 2013

This paper addresses droughts in the Czech Lands in the 1090-2012 AD period, basing its findings on documentary evidence and instrumental records. Various documentary sources were employed for the selection of drought events, which were then interpreted at a monthly level. Whi. © Author(s) 2013.


Dobrovolny P.,Masaryk University | Dobrovolny P.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Brazdil R.,Masaryk University | Brazdil R.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Climatology | Year: 2015

This contribution employs documentary-based precipitation indices and long homogenized series of precipitation totals for quantitative reconstruction of seasonal and annual precipitation in the Czech Lands (now the Czech Republic) from AD 1501. Final calibration is based on linear regression using fully independent indices and data measured during the 1804-1854 overlap period, with subsequent variance scaling. Correlation analysis demonstrates that Czech documentary indices explain a significant amount of precipitation variability in all months and seasons of the entire overlapping period. Reconstruction results are best for annual values and for autumn (SON), for which proxy and target data share 36% of common variability. The coefficient of determination for summer (June-July-August - JJA) is 35%, for spring (March-April-May - MAM) 33%, while for winter (December-January-February - DJF) it is only 26%. Verification statistics [reduction of error (RE), coefficient of efficiency (CE)] computed for early (1804-1829) and late (1830-1854) overlapping periods indicate acceptable reconstruction skill for precipitation indices in JJA and annual values. However, for the other seasons they failed in the early or late calibration period, indicating possible chronological instability of reconstruction results in MAM, SON (September-October-November), and DJF seasons. The final reconstructions are complemented with uncertainty estimates. Reconstructed Czech precipitation series do not indicate long-term trends but reveal quite high inter-annual and inter-decadal variability. Smoothed reconstructed DJF and JJA precipitation totals show the highest values in the second part of the 16th century, while the driest 30-year period occurred during the 18th century in DJF, MAM, JJA, and in annual series. Direct comparisons with two other reconstructions (tree-ring-based for southern Moravia and gridded multi-proxy for Central Europe) not only show significant correlations for a substantial part of the common period, but also disclose several periods with loss of coherence. Finally, uncertainties in reconstructions are discussed. © 2014 Royal Meteorological Society.


Brazdil R.,Masaryk University | Brazdil R.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Chroma K.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Reznickova L.,Masaryk University | And 8 more authors.
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2014

Since the second half of the 17th century, tax relief has been available to farmers and landowners to offset flood damage to property (buildings) and land (fields, meadows, pastures, gardens) in South Moravia, Czech Republic. Historically, the written applications for this were supported by a relatively efficient bureaucratic process that left a clear data trail of documentation, preserved at several levels: in the communities affected, in regional offices, and in the Moravian Land Office, all of which are to be found in estate and family collections in the Moravian Land Archives in the city of Brno, the provincial capital. As well as detailed information about damage done and administrative responses to it, data are often preserved as to the flood event itself, the time of its occurrence and its impacts, sometimes together with causes and stages. The final flood database based on taxation records is used here to describe the temporal and spatial density of both flood events and the records themselves. The information derived is used to help create long-term flood chronologies for the rivers Dyje, Jihlava, Svratka and Morava, combining floods interpreted from taxation records with other documentary data and floods derived from later systematic hydrological measurements (water levels, discharges). Common periods of higher flood frequency appear largely in the periods 1821-1850 and 1921-1950, although this shifts to several other decades for individual rivers. A number of uncertainties are inseparable from flood data taxation records: their spatial and temporal incompleteness; the inevitable limitation to larger-scale damage and restriction to the summer half-year; and the different characters of rivers, including land-use changes and channel modifications. Taxation data have considerable potential for extending our knowledge of past floods for the rest of the Czech Republic, not to mention other European countries in which records have survived. © Author(s) 2014. CC Attribution 3.0 License.


Brazdil R.,Masaryk University | Brazdil R.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Reznickova L.,Masaryk University | Reznickova L.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | And 3 more authors.
Theoretical and Applied Climatology | Year: 2014

Outbreaks of locusts, probably Locusta migratoria, were once relatively frequent phenomena in Central Europe. Documentary evidence reaching back as far as the fourteenth century provides information about these events in the Czech Lands. The stages of morphological development of locusts are influenced by a number of natural conditions, including climate. The question remains as to the extent to which the occurrence of locusts may be attributed to particular weather/climatic patterns in a given year (period) in Central Europe. Available documentary sources recording locust outbreaks in the Czech Lands are presented. The chronology thus created shows their occurrence peaked in the seventeenth century, followed in severity by the eighteenth and sixteenth centuries. Some of the largest outbreaks recorded (1338, 1474-1475, 1542-1546, 1693, 1712 and 1748-1749) are analysed in detail. Seasonal temperature and precipitation patterns in Central Europe during the years in which the locust outbreaks took place show no particular climatic features compared with the years without them, with the exception of cooler and wetter springs and wetter summers. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Wien.


Brazdil R.,Masaryk University | Brazdil R.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Chroma K.,Masaryk University | Valasek H.,Moravian Land Archives | Dolak L.,Masaryk University
Climate of the Past | Year: 2012

Historical written records associated with tax relief at ten estates located in south-eastern Moravia (Czech Republic) are used for the study of hydrometeorological extremes and their impacts during the period 1751-1900 AD. At the time, the taxation system in Moravia allowed farmers to request tax relief if their crop yields had been negatively affected by hydrological and meteorological extremes. The documentation involved contains information about the type of extreme event and the date of its occurrence, while the impact on crops may often be derived. A total of 175 extreme events resulting in some kind of damage are documented for 1751-1900, with the highest concentration between 1811 and 1860 (74.9% of all events analysed). The nature of events leading to damage (of a possible 272 types) include hailstorm (25.7%), torrential rain (21.7%), flood (21.0%), followed by thunderstorm, flash flood, late frost and windstorm. The four most outstanding events, affecting the highest number of settlements, were thunderstorms with hailstorms (25 June 1825, 20 May 1847 and 29 June 1890) and flooding of the River Morava (mid-June 1847). Hydrometeorological extremes in the 1816-1855 period are compared with those occurring during the recent 1961-2000 period. The results obtained are inevitably influenced by uncertainties related to taxation records, such as their temporal and spatial incompleteness, the limits of the period of outside agricultural work (i.e. mainly May-August) and the purpose for which they were originally collected (primarily tax alleviation, i.e. information about hydrometeorological extremes was of secondary importance). Taxation records constitute an important source of data for historical climatology and historical hydrology and have a great potential for use in many European countries. © 2012 Author(s).


Dobrovolny P.,Masaryk University | Brazdil R.,Masaryk University | Kotyza O.,Regional Museum | Valasek H.,Moravian Land Archives
Geografie-Sbornik CGS | Year: 2010

Extremely cold/mild winters (DJF) and extremely cold/warm summers (JJA) in the Czech Lands were derived from series of temperature indices based on documentary evidence (1500-1854) and from series of air temperatures measured at the Prague-Klementinum station (1771-2007) over the past 500 years. Altogether 24 cold winters, 23 mild winters, 18 cold summers and 21 warm summers emerged. Czech extremes were compared with the Central European temperature series and series of documentary-based temperature indices for the Low Countries, Germany and Switzerland. Analysis of composite sea level pressure fields confirms advection of cold air from the north-west (extremely cold summers) or from the east (extremely cold winters). Mild winters are related to warm airflow from the west or south-west and extremely warm summers to the influence of high pressure related to the Azores High. Spatial correlations of extremes for winters proved better than for summers. We demonstrate that documentary evidence explains temperature variability for winter better than it does for the other seasons. © 2010 The Author.


Dolak L.,Masaryk University | Brazdil R.,Masaryk University | Brazdil R.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Valasek H.,Moravian Land Archives
Hydrological Sciences Journal | Year: 2013

This paper addresses the hydrological and meteorological extremes that may be deduced from the taxation records of the estates of Brtnice, Třebíč and Velké Meziříčí, all in the Moravian-Bohemian Highlands of the Czech Republic, for the years 1706-1849. At that time, damage to agricultural crops constituted grounds for tax remission for individual farmers and landowners. Where it survives, the relevant administrative documentation generally includes a statement from the applicant, a report by the official commission tasked with checking the contents of it, and any decisions made by taxation authorities at regional and "land" level (the Jihlava regional office and the Moravian Land Administration ("Gubernium") respectively). Data extracted may include the type of event, dating, places of occurrence and damage done. The chronology of hydrological and meteorological extremes (torrential rain, flash flood, flood, hailstorm, lightning, frost) covers the period 1706-1849, but only four events are evident before 1748 and there is a gap in records between 1757 and 1789. Extremes are analysed from a spatio-temporal point of view. A total of 97 extreme events (171 extremes of particular type) were identified for the region studied. Torrential rain, hailstorm and flash flood were the major devastating phenomena, and occurred mainly from May to August. Torrential rain and hailstorm are clearly attributable to thunderstorms with very intense convection. Five outstanding events and their impacts upon individual farmers are described in detail. The results are discussed with respect to uncertainties in the basic data and in the context of the Czech Lands, because only some of the extremes disclosed are known and confirmed by other documentary data. © 2013 IAHS Press.


Brazdil R.,Masaryk University | Brazdil R.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Chroma K.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Valasek H.,Moravian Land Archives | And 4 more authors.
Theoretical and Applied Climatology | Year: 2014

Hailstorms are among the hydrometeorological extremes recognised in the historical past of the Czech Lands as grounds for tax relief if agricultural crops or material structures were damaged by them. The administrative process involved three levels (community, regional office, land office). The damage reports and taxation records for South Moravia (the southeastern parts of today’s Czech Republic) were mainly stored in the Moravian Land Archives at Brno in estate accounts and collections of family archives. Data related to the date of a given hailstorm, its accompanying convective phenomena, the communities affected and the type of damage, as interpreted from taxation records, has created a database spanning the years 1650 to 1941 AD. A total of 766 records contain descriptions that cover 433 days upon which hailstorms did damage in South Moravia, as well as incidentally provide some additional information for the remainder of the Czech Lands and other parts of the Austro-Hungarian empire. The hailstorms detected concentrate to a large extent around the 1821–1850 period, which accounts for 44.4 % of all events. Although reported most frequently without other convective phenomena, they were often accompanied by torrential rain. The current contribution analyses the four most outstanding hailstorms in detail, those characterised by the highest number of estates and communities affected: 26 May 1830, 18 July 1832, 25 June 1844 and 20 June 1848. Uncertainties in hailstorm data, particularly with regard to their spatial and temporal heterogeneity, are discussed. Finally, the 1811–1850 period, with the highest number of hailstorm days, is compared with hailstorm patterns that derive from systematic meteorological observations in the 1961–2000 reference period. Damaging hailstorms disclosed by taxation data will be used to compile long-term hailstorm series for South Moravia (together with those derived from other documentary evidence and systematic meteorological observations). © 2014 Springer-Verlag Wien


Brazdil R.,Masaryk University | Reznickova L.,Masaryk University | Valasek H.,Moravian Land Archives | Havlicek M.,Silva Tarouca Research Institute for Landscape and Ornamental Gardening | And 4 more authors.
Hydrological Sciences Journal | Year: 2011

Floods from the middle part of the River Morava (eastern Czech Republic) are considered over the course of the past three centuries, the study being based on data derived from documentary evidence (1691-1880), measured peak water stages, Hk (1881-1920) and peak discharges, Qk (1916-2009), evaluated with respect to their N-year return period (HN and QN). Changes in land use and water management (water reservoirs, channel modifications) are discussed, as are factors influencing runoff conditions in the Morava catchment. Decadal synthesis of flood series identifies the highest flood activity in the decades of 1911-1920 and 1961-1970 (11 floods each), 1831-1840, 1891-1900, 1901-1910 and 1931-1940 (10 floods each). Uncertainty in this series is related to some incompleteness of documentary data in the pre-1881 period. Very low flood frequency occurred in the 1990s-2000s, although the most disastrous floods were recorded in this particular period (July 1997 at Q100 and March/April 2006 at Q20-Q50). Changes in flood frequency correspond partly to long-term changes in temperature and precipitation patterns.© 2011 IAHS Press.

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