Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation

Prague, Czech Republic

Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation

Prague, Czech Republic
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Zizala D.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation | Zizala D.,Czech University of Life Sciences | Zadorova T.,Czech University of Life Sciences | Kapicka J.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation
Remote Sensing | Year: 2017

The assessment of the soil redistribution and real long-term soil degradation due to erosion on agriculture land is still insufficient in spite of being essential for soil conservation policy. Imaging spectroscopy has been recognized as a suitable tool for soil erosion assessment in recent years. In our study, we bring an approach for assessment of soil degradation by erosion by means of determining soil erosion classes representing soils differently influenced by erosion impact. The adopted methods include extensive field sampling, laboratory analysis, predictive modelling of selected soil surface properties using aerial hyperspectral data and the digital elevation model and fuzzy classification. Different multivariate regression techniques (Partial Least Square, Support Vector Machine, Random forest and Artificial neural network) were applied in the predictive modelling of soil properties. The properties with satisfying performance (R2 > 0.5) were used as input data in erosion classes determination by fuzzy C-means classification method. The study was performed at four study sites about 1 km2 large representing the most extensive soil units of the agricultural land in the Czech Republic (Chernozems and Luvisols on loess and Cambisols and Stagnosols on crystalline rocks). The influence of site-specific conditions on prediction of soil properties and classification of erosion classes was assessed. The prediction accuracy (R2) of the best performing models predicting the soil properties varies in range 0.8-0.91 for soil organic carbon content, 0.21-0.67 for sand content, 0.4-0.92 for silt content, 0.38-0.89 for clay content, 0.73-089 for Feox, 0.59-0.78 for Fed and 0.82 for CaCO3. The performance and suitability of different properties for erosion classes' classification are highly variable at the study sites. Soil organic carbon was the most frequently used as the erosion classes' predictor, while the textural classes showed lower applicability. The presented approach was successfully applied in Chernozem and Luvisol loess regions where the erosion classes were assessed with a good overall accuracy (82% and 67%, respectively). The model performance in two Cambisol/Stagnosol regions was rather poor (51%-52%). The results showed that the presented method can be directly and with a good performance applied in pedologically and geologically homogeneous areas. The sites with heterogeneous structure of the soil cover and parent material will require more precise local-fitted models and use of further auxiliary information such as terrain or geological data. The future application of presented approach at a regional scale promises to produce valuable data on actual soil degradation by erosion usable for soil conservation policy purposes. © 2017 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Hrabalikova M.,Czech University of Life Sciences | Janecek M.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation
Soil and Water Research | Year: 2017

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in combination with soil loss models can enhance evaluation of soil erosion estimation. SAGA and ARC/INFO geographic information systems were used to estimate the topographic (LS) factor of the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) that in turn was used to calculate the soil erosion on a long-Term experimental plot near Prague in the Czech Republic. To determine the influence of a chosen algorithm on the soil erosion estimates a digital elevation model with high accuracy (1 × 1 m) and a measured soil loss under simulated rainfall were used. These then provided input for five GIS-based and two manual procedures of computing the combined slope length and steepness factor in the (R)USLE. The results of GIS-based (R)USLE erosion estimates from the seven procedures were compared to the measured soil loss from the 11 m long experimental plot and from 38 rainfall simulations performed here during 15 years. The results indicate that the GIS-based (R)USLE soil loss estimates from five different approaches to calculation of LS factor are lower than the measured average annual soil loss. The two remaining approaches over-predicted the measured soil loss. The best method for LS factor estimation on field scale is the original manual method of the USLE, which predicted the average soil loss with 6% difference from the measured soil loss. The second method is the GIS-based method that concluded a difference of 8%. The results of this study show the need for further work in the area of soil erosion estimation (with particular focus on the rill/ interrill ratio) using the GIS and USLE. The study also revealed the need for an application of the same approach to catchment area as it might bring different outcomes.


Tlapakova L.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation
European Countryside | Year: 2017

Subsurface drainage systems are among the most important meliorative measures taken in the Czech Republic. Nevertheless, their functions are perceived rather differently by Czech society. Perspectives differ among landowners, farmers, water managers, and environmentalists. With changing climatic conditions and new agricultural practices, the conditions of the existing drainage systems must be reassessed, particularly in relation to future strategy for funding and management. In this regard, the main decision makers in the Czech Republic are the farmers, rather than the state or landowners who would probably be more suitable. This paper presents the results of a survey of the conditions of drainage systems, their maintenance and their defects. New technologies, mainly remote sensing, and their use for the identification and survey of drainage systems are also presented. Land drainage measures have changed the entire landscape in the Czech Republic (agricultural intensification has caused the loss of a number of natural habitats and natural water flows). In the context of increasingly common occurrences of hydrological extremes and the aging of the drainage systems, the existence of such systems must be reconsidered. Either they should be preserved for agricultural production purposes, or, on the contrary, gradually eliminated to promote the recovery of natural habitats. The best solution for each part of the Czech Republic will differ according to the landscape characteristics of the given area. © 2017 by Lenka Tlapáková.


Vilimek V.,Charles University | Smolikova J.,Charles University | Smolikova J.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation
Landslides | Year: 2015

Scientific activities of the World Centre of Excellence on Landslide Disaster Reduction at Charles University in Prague (2011–2014) combine field research using several techniques, capacity building, and international collaboration. Through our landslide research in Peru, Ethiopia, and at several localities inside the Czech Republic, we consider the landslide phenomena as being a part of the physical-geographical sphere where all of the interactions between the lithosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere must be evaluated with respect to specific on-site conditions. Slope deformations are also considered as ongoing landscape changes in time and space. In some regions (e.g., in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru), landslides were studied as they occurred. In addition to progress in research methodologies, we have created a new glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) database. Doctoral candidates were involved in field research and student exchanges. Field studies also involve foreign students. Aspects of our landslide research are a matter of international collaboration in the framework of the International Programme on Landslides (IPL). © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Blecha M.,Masaryk University | Faimon J.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation
Acta Carsologica | Year: 2014

CO2 concentrations were studied in the selected soils of the Moravian Karst, Czech Republic. The direct measurement in the air of drill-holes has indicated that the concentrations depend inversely on a pore dimension. The simplified relation between the drill-hole diameter and CO2 concentration, was proposed, where cCO2 is the CO2 concentration extrapolated to the zero drill-hole diameter in ppmv, cCO2 is directly measured CO2 concentration in ppmv, and D is drillhole diameter in cm. a and b are parameters in cm-1 and ppmv cm-1, respectively. For the karst soils formed at grass field and deciduous forest, the values of a and b parameters were determined as -0.146±0.012 (standard error) cm-1 and 262.0±56.3 ppmv cm-1, respectively. The dependence between cCO2 and D was less obvious for the heavy clay soils of coniferous forest. To understand the dependence better, a conceptual model was created taking into account the concentration gradients and mass fluxes.


Duffkova R.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation | Hejcman M.,Czech University of Life Sciences | Libichova H.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2015

There is increasing pressure to apply cattle slurry on Arrhenatherion grasslands in Central Europe, but intensive manuring can decrease their natural value. We searched for an N application rate which represents an acceptable compromise between farming requirements for high soil fertility and adequate herbage production, environmental protection requirements for balanced applications of nutrients and nature conservation requirements for species-rich grasslands. We applied different annual rates of cattle slurry (0, 60, 120, 180, 240kg Nha-1) on moderately dry Arrhenatherion grasslands over six years.Slurry application positively affected soil fertility by increasing pH, as well as P, K and Mg availability, without any effect on organic C and the total N content. The mean annual herbage yield was 2.58, 3.56, 4.40, 5.75 and 6.09tha-1 in 0, 60, 120, 180 and 240 treatments, respectively. Concentrations of N, P and K in herbage slightly increased with slurry application, while the concentration of Ca decreased. There was no surplus of N, K and Ca up to an N application rate of 120kgha-1, and there was only a slight surplus of P and Mg. In S3 and S4 treatments, the main change in vegetation was an increase in graminoids cover, accompanied by a decrease in the cover of legumes and short forbs, without any significant effect on the species richness of vascular plants. Slurry application at annual rates up to 120Nha-1 seems to be an acceptable compromise, and we recommend setting this limit for application of cattle slurry on Arrhenatherion grasslands. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Sladkova J.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation
Soil and Water Research | Year: 2010

The procedure of processing and utilising the soil information entering the SOTER system is tested on the pilot area of the Litoměřice district. The reliability of the archive data is examined, the archive data being updated by a new soil survey, modern (geo)statistical methods, and pedotransfer rules. Using the SOTER methodology, a soil map of the district with the scale of 1:50 000 has been developed. Proposals for the adjustments to the currently valid soil classification system are processed.


Duffkova R.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation | Macurova H.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation
Plant, Soil and Environment | Year: 2011

In three landscape zones of a permanent grassland catchment (discharge zone, D; transient zone, T; and recharge zone, R; Crystallinicum, Czech Republic), soil moisture by volume (θ) and soil biological quantity and quality parameters, e.g. oxidizable C (Cox), hot water soluble C (Chws), microbial biomass C (Cmic), nitrification (NITR), aerobic N mineralization (MIN) and basal respiration rates (Rbas), metabolic quotient (qCO2: Rbas/Cmic) and microbial quotient (Cmic/Cox) were estimated in the surface soil layer. We found out positive correlation of Cmic and Cmic/Cox with θ or NITR, MIN, Rbas and Cmic with Chws, but no relationship between θ on the one hand and NITR, MIN, Rbas or Cox on the other. The wettest zone D with extremely low pH displayed the highest Cmic and Cmic/Cox (1081 mg/kg, 5.29%) and the lowest qCO2 (31 μgC/day/mgCmic). Soil drought in zones T and R reduced Cmic and Cmic/Cox (939, 1029, and 3.72, 3.83, respectively) and augmented qCO2 (42; 51). Rainfall following a prolonged dry period reduced MIN and NITR in permeable zone R as a result of fast microbial regeneration (average in D: 2.24; 2.48 kg N/ha/day, T: 2.62; 2.82 kg N/ha/day, R: 1.51; 1.95 kg N/ha/day).


Fucik P.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation | Kaplicka M.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation | Kvitek T.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation | Peterkova J.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation
Clean - Soil, Air, Water | Year: 2012

Surface water quality can vary a lot with fluctuating discharge during a Rainfall - runoff event. This paper uses a set of hydrological and hydrochemical variables to explain concentration-discharge loops and hysteresis of and total suspended solids in a brook dewatering a small upland agricultural catchment in the Czech Republic. Our study is based on data collected by a continuous monitoring approach provided by an automatic ISCO sampler both from snow thawing and rainfall - runoff events. Methods of correlation, regression and principal component analysis (PCA) were employed to reveal possible relationships among the variables. For and, we found several types of concentration-discharge loops due to the loop rotation direction and also the loop curvature shape, in mutual combinations, no matter which type of a hydrological event it was related to. PCA indicated that loops correlated mostly with the length of a rising hydrograph limb and with the slope of the initial phase of a falling hydrograph limb, 5-day amount of precipitation and runoff coefficient. In case of the concentrations usually increased with elevated discharge, whereas PCA did not detect any closer linkages. For suspended solids, an unambiguous positive monotonic relationship was discovered. Although no definite pattern was found, this study showed the necessity of a continuous water quality monitoring system as an approach for capturing and understanding relationships between solute concentrations and runoff formation for tracing and modelling catchment pollution sources and describing transport processes. This study showed the necessity of a continuous water quality monitoring system as an approach for capturing and understanding relationships between solute concentrations and runoff formation for tracing and modelling catchment pollution sources and describing transport processes - although no definite pattern was found. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Duffkova R.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation | Libichova H.,Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation
Plant, Soil and Environment | Year: 2013

Cattle slurry is frequently used fertilizer on grasslands, but little is known about its effect on plant species composition. The aim of this study was therefore to assess effect of different application rates of cattle slurry (S0 - 0, S1 - 60, S2 - 120, S3 - 180, S4 - 240 kg N/ha/year) on the plant species composition of three-cut grassland. The study was performed over 6 years on moderately moist upland Arrhenatherion grassland in the Czech Republic dominated by Alopecurus pratensis, Trisetum flavescens, and Poa spp. Species composition recorded in treatments with application of cattle slurry in rate up to 120 kg N/ha/year was similar to the unfertilized control. During first three years, species richness was similar in all treatments and then decreased the most in S4 followed by S3 treatment. Cover of short forbs increased in S0 and decreased with an increase in slurry application rate which supported tall grasses. Application of cattle slurry up to 120 kg N/ha/year can be considered as suitable compromise between maintenance of species rich grasslands and requirements of farmers for sufficient forage production.

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