Institute of Landscape Ecology
Assessing woody vegetation of traditional agroforestry landscapes in the context of 21st century green infrastructure.
Name of the supervisor
Ing. Dagmar Štefunková, PhD.
Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra
Agroforestry can be thought of as the integration of woody vegetation, crops and/or livestock on the same area of land, where the woody plants may be within the land or on the boundaries (hedgerows) (http://www.europeanagroforestry.eu/). Traditional, centuries-old agroforestry and poly-cultural agrarian landscapes were widespread in Slovakia, especially until the first half of the 20th century. Subsequent trends of further extensification and abandonment of their traditional management in the conditions of collectivization and intensification of agriculture since the second half of the 20th century determined the formation of specific structures of woody vegetation with high biocultural value, providing a wide range of ecosystem services (J. Špulerová et al., 2017). The PhD student will focus on the development of methods for mapping and assessing social and environmental changes as well as legislative and institutional factors influencing the current state of woody vegetation structures in traditional agroforestry systems. The work should result in proposals for the measures and management needed to maintain their biocultural values into the future. This will make use of various sources of background data including Remote Sensing data and aerial photography methods, current and historical maps, archival sources, sociological surveys, etc.