Terraced landscapes in Slovakia

Jana Špulerová, Marta Dobrovodská, Dagmar Štefunková, Pavol Kenderessy, Martin Izsóff

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3986/AGS.4674


This study investigates the distribution of terraced landscapes in Slovakia and analyzes their structural characteristics and land use. We found that traditional farming and terrace building as a part of agricultural intensification resulted in two types of terraced landscapes: historical terraced landscapes and new terraced landscapes. The two types differ in size, structure of various elements, their management intensity, and the impact of these spatial structures on biodiversity. Historical terraced landscapes in Slovakia have been partially preserved in vineyard regions, but they are mainly found in mountainous areas. New terraced landscapes are mainly linked to vineyard landscapes. The plant species composition on the mapped terraced landscapes shows a high diversity of habitats and terraces as agrarian relief forms create islands of species diversity in extensively managed agricultural landscapes.


terraced landscape; traditional agricultural landscape; agrarian relief forms; terraces; collectivization; Slovakia

Full Text:



Aavik, T., Liira, J. 2009: Agrotolerant and high nature-value species – Plant biodiversity indicator groups in agroecosystems. Ecological Indicators 9-5. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2008.10.006

Agnoletti, M., Cargnello, G., Gardin, L., Santoro, A., Bazzoffi, P., Sansone, L., Pezza, L., Belfiore, N. 2011: Traditional landscape and rural development: comparative study in three terraced areas in northern, central and southern Italy to evaluate the efficacy of GAEC standard 4.4 of cross compliance. Italian Journal of Agronomy 6-1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ija.2011.6.s1.e16

Andersen, E., Baldock, D., Bennett, H., Beaufoy, G., Bignal, E., Brouwer, F., Elbersen, B., Eiden, G., Godeschalk, F., Jones, G. 2003: Developing a high nature value farming area indicator. Report to the European Environment Agency. Copenhagen.

Ažman Momirski, L., Kladnik, D. 2015: The terraced landscape in the Brkini Hills. Acta geographica Slovenica 55-1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3986/AGS.1627

Babai, D., Tóth, A., Szentirmai, I., Biró, M., Máté, A., Demeter, L., Szépligeti, M., Varga, A., Molnár, A., Kun, R., Molnár, Z. 2015: Do conservation and agri-environmental regulations effectively support traditional small-scale farming in East-Central European cultural landscapes? Biodiversity and conservation 24-13. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-015-0971-z

Barančoková, M., Barančok, P. 2015: Distribution of the traditional agricultural landscape types reflecting geological substrate and slope processes in the Kysuce Region. Ekológia (Bratislava) 34-4. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/eko-2015-0031

Barbera, G., Cullotta, S. 2012: An inventory approach to the assessment of main traditional landscapes in Sicily (Central Mediterranean Basin). Landscape Research 37-5. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01426397.2011.607925

Geoportal – State Administration of Land Surveying and Cadastre of the Slovak Republic, 2015.. Internet: https://www.geoportal.sk/en/zbgis-smd (8. 11. 2016).

Fischer, J., Hartel, T., Kuemmerle, T. 2012: Conservation policy in traditional farming landscapes. Conservation letters 5. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-263X.2012.00227.x

Gelencsér, G., Vona, M., Centeri, C. 2012: Losing agricultural heritage in rural landscapes – a case study in Koppány Valley Area, Hungary. European Countryside 2. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/v10091-012-0019-2

Gellrich, M., Baur, P., Koch, B., Zimmermann, N. E. 2007: Agricultural land abandonment and natural forest re-growth in the Swiss mountains: A spatially explicit economic analysis. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 118/1–4. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2006.05.001

Hanušin, J., Štefunková, D. 2015: Zmeny diverzity vinohradníckej krajiny v zázemí Svätého Jura v období 1896–2011. Geografický časopis 67-3.

Howley, P., Donoghue, C. O., Hynes, S. 2012: Exploring public preferences for traditional farming landscapes. Landscape and Urban Planning 104-1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2011.09.006

Imrichová, Z. 2006: Impact of management practises on diversity of grasslands in agricultural region of middle Slovakia. Ekológia 25-1.

Ivanova, M., Michaeli, E., Boltiziar, M., Juhascikova, J. 2011: Analysis of landscape heterogeneity changes on the example of Hlinne, Vysny Zipov, and Zlatnik Village (eastern Slovakia) in the Period 1826-2006. Ekológia 30-2. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4149/ekol_2011_01_269

Kravchenko, Y. S., Chen, Q., Liu, X., Herbert, S. J., Zhang, X. 2016: Conservation practices and management in Ukrainian mollisols. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology 18-3.

Lipský, Z. 1995: The changing face of the Czech rural landscape. Landscape and Urban Planning 31, 1–3. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0169-2046(94)01034-6

Lieskovský, J., Kenderessy, P., Špulerová, J., Lieskovský, T., Koleda, P., Kienast, F., Gimmi, U. 2014: Factors affecting the persistence of traditional agricultural landscapes in Slovakia during the collectivization of agriculture. Landscape Ecology 29-5. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10980-014-0023-1

Liquete, C., Kleeschulte, S., Dige, G., Maes, J., Grizzetti, B., Olah, B., Zulian, G. 2015: Mapping green infrastructure based on ecosystem services and ecological networks: A Pan-European case study. Environmental Science & Policy 54. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2015.07.009

Miklós, L. 2002: Členenie prírodno-sídelných spádových regiónov. Atlas krajiny Slovenskej Republiky. Bratislava, Banská Bystrica. Internet: http://geo.enviroportal.sk/atlassr (25. 9. 2016).

Pazur, R., Otahel’, J., Maretta, M. 2015: The distribution of selected CORINE land cover classes in different natural landscapes in Slovakia: Methodological framework and applications. Moravian Geographical Report 23-1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/mgr-2015-0005

Petit, C., Konold, W., Höchtl, F. 2012: Historic terraced vineyards: impressive witnesses of vernacular architecture. Landscape History 33-1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01433768.2012.671029

Ružičková, H., Halada, Ľ., Jedlička, L., Kalivodová, E. 1996: Biotopy Slovenska: príručka k mapovaniu a katalóg biotopov. Bratislava.

Saksa, M., Minar, J. 2012: Assessing the natural hazard of gully erosion through a Geoecological Information System (GeIS): A case study from the Western Carpathians. Geografie 117-2.

Slámová, M., Jakubec, B., Hreško, J., Beláček, B., Gallay, I. 2015: Modification of the potential production capabilities of agricultural terrace soils due to historical cultivation in the Budina cadastral area, Slovakia. Moravian Geographical Reports 23-2. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/mgr-2015-0010

Smrekar, A., Polajnar Horvat, K., Erhartič, B. 2016: The beauty of landforms. Acta geographica 56-2. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3986/AGS.3039

Smrekar, A., Zorn, M., Komac, B. 2016: Heritage protection through an geomorphologist’s eyes: From recording to awareness raising. Acta geographica 56-1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3986/AGS.875

Stanchi, S., Freppaz, M., Agnelli, A., Reinsch, T., Zanini, E. 2012: Properties, best management practices and conservation of terraced soils in Southern Europe (from Mediterranean areas to the Alps): A review. Quaternary International 265. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2011.09.015

Stanová, V., Valachovič, M. 2002: Katalóg biotopov Slovenska. Bratislava.

Špulerová, J., Dobrovodska, M., Lieskovský, J., Bača, A., Halabuk, A., Kohút, F., Mojses, M., Kenderessy, P., Piscová, V., Barančok, P. 2011: Inventory and classification of historical structures of the agricultural landscape in Slovakia. Ekológia 30-2. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4149/ekol_2011_02_157

Špulerová, J., Dobrovodská, M., Štefunková, D., Bača, A., Lieskovský, J. 2014a: Biodiversity of traditional agricultural landscapes in Slovakia and their threats. Biocultural landscapes. Dordrecht.

Špulerová, J., Dobrovodská, M., Štefunková, D., Piscová, V., Petrovič, F. 2014b: Evolution of the traditional agricultural landscapes of Slovakia. Environment and ecology in the Mediterranean Region II. Newcastle.

Štefunková, D., Dobrovodská, M. 2009: Preserved European cultural heritage in agrarian landscape of Slovakia. Tájökológiai Lapok 7-2.

Štefunková, D., Hanušin, J. 2016: Analysis of the spatial and temporal distribution of selected landscape diversity indexes in detailed scale (example of viticultural landscape Svätý Jur). Landscape and landscape ecology : proceedings of the 17th International Symposium on Landscape Ecology. Bratislava.

Urbanc, M., Gašperič, P., Kozina, J. 2015: Geographical imagination of landscapes: analysis of the book of photographs Slovenian landscapes. Acta geographica 55-1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3986/AGS.836

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3986/AGS.4674

© Acta geographica Slovenica | P. B. 306, SI-1001 Ljubljana, Slovenia | ags@zrc-sazu.si | tel: +386 1 470 63 57