Contribution of Traditional Farming to Ecosystem Services Provision: Case Studies from Slovakia | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
June 2018
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© 2018 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

The main aim of this study is to assess the benefits provided by the ecosystems of traditional agricultural landscapes (TAL) and compare them to the outputs of large-scale agriculture. Assessment of ecosystem services (ES) was performed in four case-study areas situated in Slovakia, representing different types of TAL: Viticultural landscape, meadow–pasture landscape, and agricultural landscape with dispersed settlements and mosaics of orchards. The methodological approach was focused on assessment of all the principal types of ES—regulation and maintenance, provisioning, and cultural. Differences in the provision of ES due to the impact of different practices and intensities of agricultural landscape management were subsequently assessed and compared. The results show that TAL are generally more diverse and balanced regarding ES provision, mainly because of their varied patterns and their related functions. In particular they play an important role in water retention and the prevention of soil erosion—both important with respect to changes in climate. Modern intensive agriculture is principally able to fulfil the production functions. Support for traditional farming, landscape diversification and small-scale agricultural management is vital for enhancing the values of rural regions. Such measures could become key drivers for sustainable agricultural management in Slovakia, and elsewhere.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Špulerová, Jana
Petrovič, František
Mederly, Peter
Mojses, Matej
Izakovičová, Zita


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