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Traditional Landscapes—from the Past to the Sustainable Future (Factors and Trends of Landscape Functions and Services Provision towards the 21st Century)

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020) | Viewed by 18815

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Landscape Ecology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, SK-814 99 Bratislava, Slovakia
Interests: nature and landscape conservation; land use; sustainable development; landscape ecological planning; ecosystem services
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Earth is composed of a variety of unique landscape units which were formed by natural and social forces. Natural conditions and factors shaped the general character of landscape, limited each human activity, and determined development opportunities. Human society has affected natural landscapes throughout its history, and recent landscapes thus also reflect the development of society. In recent decades, the study of land use has been a frequent topic of historical, geographical, and landscape ecological research around the world. Historical landscape structures represent a specific, time-limited, and spatially constantly shrinking subtype of landscape structure. Historical landscape structures are important not only in terms of culture–history but also in terms of biodiversity. Many of them are important habitats for rare and threatened species. The classification of historical landscape structures is complicated and demanding, especially because of the diversity of approaches. The authors present the following approaches: traditional approach of monument protection, chronological approach, settlement–geographical approach, geo-ecological approach, functional approach, territorial–administrative approach, ground-based and geometric approach, physiognomic approach, and stylistic approach. Some authors focus even more in detail on the landscape archetypes or individual historical landscape structures. The landscape archetype is the historical structure of the landscape, which in its more or less original form has been preserved to the present day. The present knowledge of landscape enables defining several landscape archetypes with a unique composition of landscape elements arranged in geometric landscape textures and patterns. Most of them correspond to the positional properties of georelief, morphogenesis of territory, and to dynamic processes on the slopes and valleys. Archetype classification corresponds to European landscape convention (2000) and brings an original solution for the identification of landscape with an emphasis on their particular values.

This Special Issue (SI) should cover several fields, as land use is the entrance to any landscape planning and decision-making. Historical landscape structures are those that carry information about the long-term sustainability of the landscape and the memory of past generations. Their disappearance may result not only in the visual change of the landscape, but also in disruption of natural flows and the loss of landscape biodiversity. Papers dealing with various theoretical studies, and case studies of best practice of sustainable landscape management and planning across diverse historical landscapes structures or landscape archetypes of the world are invited. Contributions focused on practical protection of traditional landscape features in practice or examples of successful restoration and preservation of such landscapes are also interesting for this Special Issue.

References:

Agnoletti, M., Tredici, M., Santoro, A. 2015. Biocultural diversity and landscape patterns in three historical rural areas of Morocco, Cuba and Italy. Biodiversity and Conservation, 24, 13, p. 3387–3404.

Bakker, M.M., Govers, G., Kosmas, C., Vanacker, V., Oost, K.V., Rounsevell, M. 2005. Soil erosion as a driver of land-use change. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 105, (3), p. 467-481.

Hreško, J., Petrovič, F. & R. Mišovičová (2015): Mountain Landscape Archetypes of the Western Carpathians (Slovakia). Biodiversity and Conservation, 24, 13, p. 3269–3283.

Kuang, W., Liu, J., Dong, J., Chi, W., Zhang, C. 2016. The rapid and massive urban and industrial land expansions in China between 1990 and 2010: A CLUD-based analysis of their trajectories, patterns, and drivers. Landscape and Urban Planning, Vol. 145, p. 21-33.

Kubiszewski, I.. Costanza, R.., Anderson, S., Sutton, P. 2017. The future value of ecosystem services: Global scenarios and national implications. Ecosystem Services, Vol. 26, p. 289-301.

Larcher, F., Gullino, P., Mellano, M. G., Beccaro, G. L. & M. Devecchi (2017): Integrating Historical and Social Knowledge for Restoring and Planning Traditional Fruit Landscape in Piedmont (Italy). Acta Horticulturae, 1189, p. 339–342.

Wang, Q., Ren, Q., & Liu, J. (2016). Identification and apportionment of the drivers of land use change on a regional scale: Unbiased recursive partitioning-based stochastic model application. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 217, p. 99–110.

Prof. Dr. František Petrovič
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zita Izakovičová
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Land use change
  • Historical landscape structure—identification, typing, mapping, significance evaluation
  • Decision support tools for sustainable landscape management and planning applicable to historical elements of land use
  • Biodiversity of historical landscape structures
  • Integrated assessment of historical landscape structures
  • Multifunctional use of historical structures
  • Archetypes of landscape
  • Ecosystem services of landscape archetypes
  • Land use changes induced by human activities
  • Mapping and measuring of land memory in historical landscape perspective
  • Role of stakeholders and decision-makers in preservation of historical elements of the landscape
  • Case studies—examples of good practice in the management of traditional landscapes and their historical structures

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 15260 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Development Trend of the Historical Cultural Landscape of the UNESCO Monument: Vlkolínec (Slovakia)
by František Petrovič, Martin Boltižiar, Iveta Rakytová, Ivana Tomčíková and Eva Pauditšová
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2227; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042227 - 19 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2033
Abstract
The presented paper focuses on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site of Vlkolínec (Slovakia), changes in its cultural landscape and the possibilities of its preservation for future generations. However, it is also a living settlement with residents [...] Read more.
The presented paper focuses on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site of Vlkolínec (Slovakia), changes in its cultural landscape and the possibilities of its preservation for future generations. However, it is also a living settlement with residents who have demands for their standard of living. To analyze the development of changes in the landscape of the Vlkolínec protection zone, we used available relevant data such as historical maps and aerial photographs from selected time horizons 1769, 1823, 1949, 2007 and 2017. Overall, we interpreted a total of 13 landscape elements, paying special attention to historical landscape structures. For the land use elements, we focused mainly on determining their area and percentage of the landscape in relation to their changes in the period under review in the context of natural and socio-economic conditions. In order to gain a realistic view of the future development and use of the Vlkolínec area in the context of direct users of the area, we decided to apply a questionnaire survey in 2017. The questionnaire is a written form of a structured interview. We determined a target group of respondents—residents of Vlkolínec and users of this area (holiday cottage owners, foresters, farmers), i.e., we processed the opinions of people directly influencing Vlkolínec and its immediate surroundings—the landscape. The interviews were focused on identifying problems and proposing solutions so as not to disturb the uniqueness of this site, but at the same time to also attract tourism participants. Based on the results of the survey, we evaluated the identified phenomena, structures and values and compared them with the desired state of protection of the landmark. Subsequently, we prepared plans for the preservation and sustainable development of this important site. Full article
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27 pages, 5260 KiB  
Article
Changes in Landscape Structure in the Municipalities of the Nitra District (Slovak Republic) Due to Expanding Suburbanization
by Zuzana Pucherová, Regina Mišovičová, Gabriel Bugár and Henrich Grežo
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1205; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031205 - 24 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2396
Abstract
Suburbanization, as a set of several factors, influences and changes the landscape structure of smaller municipalities in the hinterland of larger cities. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the built-up areas related to suburbanization within three time horizons—in 2002, 2005, and [...] Read more.
Suburbanization, as a set of several factors, influences and changes the landscape structure of smaller municipalities in the hinterland of larger cities. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the built-up areas related to suburbanization within three time horizons—in 2002, 2005, and 2020—in 62 municipalities of the district (including two cities, Nitra and Vráble). This study examines the process of spatial changes in landscape features (residential, industrial, agricultural, transport) related to suburbanization between 2002 and 2005 and between 2002 and 2020. The input analytical data were digital orthophotomaps from 2002 and 2005 and the current orthophotomosaics of the Slovak Republic from 2017 (GKÚ, Bratislava), updated for the year 2020 using Sentinel 2 satellite image data (European Space Agency). The impact of suburbanization processes between 2002 and 2005 did not reach the dimensions of the changes that occurred due to suburbanization processes between 2002 and 2020 or 2005 and 2020. The main research objective of the article is the identification and assessment of these changes. We determined which landscape features related to suburbanization affected spatial changes in municipalities of the district Nitra. The total area affected by one of the suburbanization processes monitored by us reached 92.52 ha in the period between 2002 and 2005. Between the years 2002 and 2020, the area reached a total of 2272.82 ha, which is an increase of 2180.30 ha in 2020 compared to 2002. This included mainly the expansion of settlements or housing (60.15%), industrial areas (29.31%), transport facilities (4.35%), agricultural areas (0.73%), and other areas (5.46%). These results show expanding suburbanization for the period from 2002 to 2020 and that this process has been gaining momentum in the municipalities of the Nitra district, especially in recent years, which changes the look of rural municipalities and the character of a typical rural landscape. Full article
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23 pages, 5277 KiB  
Article
A Cultural and Environmental Assessment of a Landscape Archetype with Dispersed Settlements in Čadca Cadastral District, Slovakia
by Ingrid Belčáková, Branislav Olah, Martina Slámová and Zuzana Pšenáková
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1200; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031200 - 24 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2505
Abstract
Special types of rural settlements in Slovakia, so-called dispersed settlements, are typical of several regions in the country. They are recognized as specific elements in a landscape and have a strong effect on local identity. They are a part of a historical landscape [...] Read more.
Special types of rural settlements in Slovakia, so-called dispersed settlements, are typical of several regions in the country. They are recognized as specific elements in a landscape and have a strong effect on local identity. They are a part of a historical landscape structure, constituting a unique natural and cultural heritage. For this reason, they deserve special attention in planning and management processes. Decision-making processes about the landscape that do not take into consideration that the inherent value of those structures could lead to their irreversible loss. This paper aims at the evaluation of specific landscape elements in the case study area and describes their effect in terms of the sociohistorical, environmental, and visual context and their influence on sustainability. Both cultural and environmental inventories were interpreted in relation to spatiotemporal land cover/use changes. The field inventory and geospatial analysis, using geographic information systems (GIS) tools, resulted in the categorization and evaluation of 63 dispersed settlement units in the study area of Čadca. We propose a management method, giving reasonable detail to proposed incentives, for each dispersed settlement unit category. The proposed methodology is intended to create a classification of the dispersed settlement units from the perspective of landscape archetypes. The cultural and environmental assessment of dispersed settlement units resulted in the definition of indicators signaling the presence of a particular archetype. Full article
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15 pages, 2941 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Ownership Data from Consolidated Land Threatened by Water Erosion in the Vlára Basin, Slovakia
by Alexandra Pagáč Mokrá, Jakub Pagáč, Zlatica Muchová and František Petrovič
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010051 - 23 Dec 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1831
Abstract
Water erosion is a phenomenon that significantly damages agricultural land. The current land fragmentation in Slovakia and the complete ambiguity of who owns it leads to a lack of responsibility to care for the land in its current condition, which could affect its [...] Read more.
Water erosion is a phenomenon that significantly damages agricultural land. The current land fragmentation in Slovakia and the complete ambiguity of who owns it leads to a lack of responsibility to care for the land in its current condition, which could affect its sustainability in the future. The reason so much soil has eroded is obvious when looking at current land management, with large fields, a lack of windbreaks between them, and no barriers to prevent soil runoff. Land consolidation might be the solution. This paper seeks to evaluate redistributed land and, based on modeling by the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) method, to assess the degree of soil erosion risk. Ownership data provided information on how many owners and what amount of area to consider, while taking into account new conditions regarding water erosion. The results indicate that 2488 plots of 1607 owners which represent 12% of the model area are still endangered by water erosion, even after the completion of the land consolidation project. The results also presented a way of evaluating the territory and aims to trigger a discussion regarding an unambiguous definition of responsibility in the relationship between owner and user. Full article
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14 pages, 4206 KiB  
Article
Comparative Assessment of Different Modelling Schemes and Their Applicability to Inland Small Reservoirs: A Central Europe Case Study
by Petr Pelikán, Věra Hubačíková, Tatiana Kaletová and Jakub Fuska
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10692; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410692 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2248
Abstract
Sustainable landscape management involve also water reservoir management. The demand of their reconstruction represents a good opportunity for redesigning hydrotechnical structures and their parameters using recent methods and models. The estimation of wind-driven waves on small water reservoirs and their effects on water [...] Read more.
Sustainable landscape management involve also water reservoir management. The demand of their reconstruction represents a good opportunity for redesigning hydrotechnical structures and their parameters using recent methods and models. The estimation of wind-driven waves on small water reservoirs and their effects on water reservoir structures rarely are applied, although it is an important part of the dam height calculation. The analysis of wave run-up on the upstream face of the dam was performed by means of the Slovak Technical Standard (STN), Coastal Engineering Manual (CEM), Shore Protection Manual (SPM) and model designed by American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). The estimations of the wave characteristics differ depending on the model; wave height (H13%) within the range 0.32–0.56 m, wave period 1.32–2.11 s and run-up (R2%) 0.84–1.68 m under conditions of design wind speed 25 m·s−1. Results obtained by CEM, SPM models predict lower values than STN and ASABE models. Since the height difference between the dam crest and still water level in the reservoir is only 0.90 m, we can expect overtopping of the crest by waves after the critical wind speed is exceeded. Full article
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21 pages, 1994 KiB  
Article
Hyperspectral Reflectance as a Basis to Discriminate Olive Varieties—A Tool for Sustainable Crop Management
by Luis Gomes, Tânia Nobre, Adélia Sousa, Fernando Rei and Nuno Guiomar
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 3059; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12073059 - 10 Apr 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3202
Abstract
Worldwide sustainable development is threatened by current agricultural land change trends, particularly by the increasing rural farmland abandonment and agricultural intensification phenomena. In Mediterranean countries, these processes are affecting especially traditional olive groves with enormous socio-economic costs to rural areas, endangering environmental sustainability [...] Read more.
Worldwide sustainable development is threatened by current agricultural land change trends, particularly by the increasing rural farmland abandonment and agricultural intensification phenomena. In Mediterranean countries, these processes are affecting especially traditional olive groves with enormous socio-economic costs to rural areas, endangering environmental sustainability and biodiversity. Traditional olive groves abandonment and intensification are clearly related to the reduction of olive oil production income, leading to reduced economic viability. Most promising strategies to boost traditional groves competitiveness—such as olive oil differentiation through adoption of protected denomination of origin labels and development of value-added olive products—rely on knowledge of the olive varieties and its specific properties that confer their uniqueness and authenticity. Given the lack of information about olive varieties on traditional groves, a feasible and inexpensive method of variety identification is required. We analyzed leaf spectral information of ten Portuguese olive varieties with a powerful data-mining approach in order to verify the ability of satellite’s hyperspectral sensors to provide an accurate olive variety identification. Our results show that these olive varieties are distinguishable by leaf reflectance information and suggest that even satellite open-source data could be used to map them. Additional advantages of olive varieties mapping were further discussed. Full article
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14 pages, 1615 KiB  
Article
Mapping Cultural Ecosystem Services Enables Better Informed Nature Protection and Landscape Management
by Gréta Vrbičanová, Dominika Kaisová, Matej Močko, František Petrovič and Peter Mederly
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2138; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12052138 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3691
Abstract
Cultural ecosystem services (CES) have specific richness and diversity provision patterns related to particular landscape features and land cover forms. Studies of their spatial distribution, however, are quite rare in the Slovak Republic and surrounding countries. This paper links land cover information based [...] Read more.
Cultural ecosystem services (CES) have specific richness and diversity provision patterns related to particular landscape features and land cover forms. Studies of their spatial distribution, however, are quite rare in the Slovak Republic and surrounding countries. This paper links land cover information based on an ecosystem services (ES) matrix, field survey data and GIS method to assess CES supply in two selected Slovak regions. Our main focus is on the ecologically more valuable ‘hot-spots’ where socio-cultural values accumulate. We determined their spatial distribution, and our comparison with lower cultural value areas confirmed that mountainous landscapes have the highest capacity to provide CES. This especially applies to the landscapes under National Park protection. While Slovak forests, rocks and water areas also form essential ecosystems for overall CES provision, the lowest overall capacity is in areas with residential buildings, construction, industrial and other artificial habitats. Finally, a comparison of our results with the National Ecosystem Assessment indicates that our detailed CES assessment will be more effective in supporting future participatory planning and management processes. Full article
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