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Information Page of SAS Organisation


Institute of Landscape Ecology

International Projects

ELMEN - ELMEN - Inter-institutional single framework contract for the provision of assistance for the technical and financial monitoring of ongoing projects funded from previous and on-going LIFE programmes and on thematic support

ELMEN - Multi-inštitucionálny rámcový kontrakt na poskytovanie asistencie pre technické a finančné monitorovanie bežiacich projektov spolufinancovaných z predchádzajúcich a súčasného LIFE programu a pre tematickú podporu

Duration: 1. 4. 2023 - 31. 3. 2027
Program: Multilaterálne - iné
Project leader: Mgr. Bezák Peter PhD.
Annotation:The ELMEN contract is focused mainly on monitoring of quality and professional and financial correctness of implementation of the EU co-funded projects of the LIFE programme. These projects support the enhancement of Natura 2000 network through concrete conservation actions, deal with various environmental issues, climate change adaptation and mitigation, circular economy and quality of life and clean energy. Monitoring experts regularly check the implementation of projects in the field or beneficiaries’ premises, evaluate submitted project reports and provide any other required thematic support related to the LIFE programme to the European Commission (DG Environment and CINEA).
Project web page:https://www.elmen-eeig.eu/

eLTER PPP - eLTER Preparatory Phase Project

eLTER Preparatory Phase Project

Duration: 1. 2. 2020 - 31. 1. 2025
Evidence number:871126
Program: Horizont 2020
Project leader: RNDr. Halada Ľuboš CSc.
Annotation:eLTER RI is a pan-European Research Infrastructure planned to be operational in 2027. It has been built on the basis of existing national investments over several decades in the context of dedicated networks and ecosystem, critical zone and socio-ecological research projects. 162 Research Performing Organisations support the eLTER RI Science Case through a signed MoU, and 19 countries (including Slovakia) have formally provided political support to establishment of eLTER RI. The eLTER RI intends to create scientifically sound information required in response to grand societal challenges, while working as a distributed RI in the most cost-efficient way. It will continuously enhance its services and in-situ facilities to meet the needs of stakeholders as to emerging research challenges. Thereby, it will bring Europe to a globally leading role in ecosystem sciences. eLTER PPP will establish the vision and mission, strategic collaboration schemes and impact analysis of the RI; plan, consolidate with shareholders and start to implement the governance structures, coordinate a smooth transition from preparation into operations by establishing a legal entity, and by clearly identifying risks and risk reduction measures; prepare the cost benefit analysis, full Cost Book of the RI, and the financial plans for the mid-term and long-term perspective, and consolidate them with the shareholders; conclude the requirements of the RI to be met by the Central Services, identify the host for the Head Office, and the scope and decision making processes for hosting other central service components; finalise the technical specifications of eLTER RI concerning National Research Infrastructure design, eLTER Standard Observations and site categories, and establish a site labelling process; and develop and set up communication, dissemination and marketing structures or seamless continuation in eLTER RI, and engaging the eLTER scientific user community and other user groups beyond the project life time.
Project web page:https://www.lter-europe.net/projects/PPP

eLTER PLUS - European long-term ecosystem, critical zone and socio-ecological systems research infrastructure PLUS

European long-term ecosystem, critical zone and socio-ecological systems research infrastructure PLUS

Duration: 1. 2. 2020 - 31. 1. 2025
Evidence number:871128
Program: Horizont 2020
Project leader: RNDr. Halada Ľuboš CSc.
Annotation:Progress in understanding, managing and securing current and future ecosystem functions and services is challenged by fragmented and dispersed ecosystem research, operated using narrow disciplinary perspectives that prevent a holistic understanding of complex eco- and socio-ecological systems. The emerging European Long-Term Ecosystem, critical zone and socio-ecological systems Research Infrastructure (eLTER RI) was evaluated by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) as having high potential for closing this gap in the European RI landscape. The primary objective of eLTER PLUS is to open and expand the research capacities and impact of eLTER by engaging current and new users and developing the operations of cross- and transdisciplinary research, exemplified in eLTER Site and Platform design and the RI’s Standard Observation framework. eLTER PLUS will execute a performance test of the emerging RI and assess and strengthen its operations in real time. It will further advance community building and provisioning of services as pursued by the H2020-funded eLTER INFRAIA Starting Community project and related projects. Its focus is on making intensive use of 35 selected sites and platforms in terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems, combined with observational data from an additional 50 sites, for studying ecosystem and socio-ecological responses to globally-relevant environmental challenges in terms of ecosystem integrity and ecosystem services. Its Whole-Systems approach will derive meaningful scientific and policy-relevant information via co-designed, transdisciplinary research in collaboration with diverse stakeholders at local, regional and EU-scales. Concerted actions also focus on collaboration with peer RIs to maximize synergies, increase efficiencies and catalyze holistic understanding of ecosystem function, and on development of virtual laboratories where in-situ site data are linked with other data sources, e.g. Copernicus.
Project web page:https://www.lter-europe.net/projects/PLUS

PANGEOS - PANGEOS - Pan-European Network of Green Deal Agriculture and Forestry Earth Observation Science

PANGEOS - Pan-European Network of Green Deal Agriculture and Forestry Earth Observation Science

Duration: 6. 11. 2023 - 6. 11. 2027
Evidence number:CA22136
Program: COST
Project leader: Mgr. Halabuk Andrej PhD.
Annotation:The sustainability of Europe’s green resources are threatened by climate change associated environmental changes. Agricultural systems and forests are among the ecosystems mostly interlinked with human health and wellbeing due to the socio-economic services they provide. Whether heat, drought, extreme weather, or biotic stressors, conventional agriculture and forestry today is unprepared for future climate scenarios, rising populations, changing consumption habits, and traditional management practices need re-thinking. The objectives set by PANGEOS are developed in the wake of the European Green Deal strategic goals. For agriculture, these include ensuring food security in the face of climate change, strengthening the EU food system’s resilience and reducing the environmental and climate footprint of the EU agricultural sector towards a competitive and sustainable use and management of resources. For forestry, these span the protection, restoration and enlargement of the EU’s forests to combat climate change, reversing biodiversity loss and ensuring resilient and multifunctional forest ecosystems. To support these goals, PANGEOS aims to leverage state-of-the-art remote sensing (RS) technologies to advance field phenotyping workflows, precision agriculture/forestry practices and larger-scale operational assessments for a more sustainable management of Europe’s natural resources. We propose to bridge the gap between state-of-the-art technologies and applied sciences, to directly serve and inform academics, Young Researchers and Innovators, Inclusiveness Target Countries and Near Neighbor Countries, end-users (e.g., farmers, foresters), and stakeholders in industry and policy-makers by bringing together RS experts and applications in (1) Field Phenotyping, (2) Precision and Regenerative Agriculture, (3) Sustainable Land Management of Complex European landscapes, and (4) Uncertainty Analysis and Standardization.
Project web page:https://pangeos.eu/

PAREUS - PAREUS - Providing Adaptive knowledge for Ratcheting up the EU Biodiversity strategy for Sustainable landscapes and protected areas

PAREUS - Poskytovanie adaptívnych poznatkov pre posilnenie stratégie EÚ v oblasti biodiverzity pre udržateľné krajiny a chránené oblasti

Duration: 1. 1. 2023 - 31. 12. 2025
Evidence number:Biodiversa2021-688
Program: Horizont Európa
Project leader: RNDr. Kanka Róbert PhD.
Annotation:PAREUS follows the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) throughout its activities by mapping, evaluating, developing, and synthesizing landscape sustainability within selected cases with direct engagement with stakeholders to share, anticipate, reflect and respond to the overarching challenge (Fig. 1). The project will take a landscape approach23 by mapping and synthesizing documents to evaluate the spatial synergies and trade-offs between policy targets for biodiversity and possible pathways to ensure land degradation neutrality for protecting and restoring nature in National Case Studies (NCS). PAREUS consists of, besides a dedicated project coordination management work package (see section V.C for more details), of the six objective-driven work packages.
Project web page:https://www.biodiversa.eu/2023/04/19/pareus/

EUGW - EU Grassland Watch – CO4N2K update

Pozorovanie trávnych porastov - aktualizácia CO4N2K

Duration: 22. 1. 2024 - 16. 5. 2026
Evidence number:ENV/2022/OP/0029
Program: Bilaterálne - iné
Project leader: RNDr. Halada Ľuboš CSc.
Annotation:EU Grassland Watch will support the monitoring and management of N2000 sites with a focus on grasslands and thereby assess the health of protected areas / ecosystems through time. The Copernicus programme will provide valuable resources for mapping and monitoring the sites through existing ready to use service products and operational Earth Observation (EO) image acquisitions. The results of the analysis processes will be exposed to users through a user-friendly and intuitive webtool to support their reporting and management needs at a range of scales from the pan-European to site levels.
Project web page:https://cop4n2k.eu/

PROCLIAS - PROCLIAS - Process-based models for climate impact attribution across sectors

PROCLIAS - Procesné modely pre atribúciu klimatických vplyvov naprieč odvetviami

Duration: 27. 10. 2020 - 26. 10. 2024
Evidence number:CA19139
Program: COST
Project leader: Dr.nat.techn. Ing. Merganičová Katarína
Annotation:Many complex process-based models are available in Europe to project future climate impacts. Yet, the current climate impact research community is fragmented, modeling mostly individual systems. The integration of climate impacts across different natural and societal sectors is only slowly emerging. Likewise, attribution of impacts to climate and other factors is still a strongly under-researched field given that climate change is already strongly manifesting itself, an increasing number of court cases dealing with climate impacts is being negotiated and policy debates on loss and damage are intensifying. This lack of coordination amongst impact modelers and insufficient awareness about impact attribution methods hampers important scientific and political progress and more coordination and networking is urgently needed. Therefore, PROCLIAS aims to develop common protocols, harmonized datasets and a joint understanding of how to conduct cross-sectoral, multi-model climate impact studies at regional and global scales allowing for attribution of impacts of recent climatic changes and robust projections of future climate impacts. The Action will do so by focusing on key interactions of climate impacts across sectors, their accumulated effect, especially of extreme events, the attribution of impacts to climate change and the quantification of uncertainties. PROCLIAS will make use of all COST networking tools to train young researchers to conduct and analyse multi-model simulations in a cross-sectoral way, to support a common platform for collecting impact model simulations and methods for analyzing them and to disseminate the data, code and results to scientists as well as, in a more synthesized form, to stakeholders.
Project web page:https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA19139/#tabs|Name:Description

Restore4Life - Restore4Life - Restoration of wetland complexes as life supporting systems in the Danube Basin

Restore4Life - Obnova mokraďových komplexov ako systémov podporujúcich život v povodí Dunaja

Duration: 1. 6. 2023 - 31. 5. 2027
Evidence number:101112736
Program: Horizont Európa
Project leader: RNDr. Halada Ľuboš CSc.
Annotation:Restore4Life demonstrates the multiple socio-economic benefits generated by a holistic and transdisciplinary approach for the restoration of freshwater and coastal wetlands in the Danube basin that will contribute to new blue-green infrastructure supporting regional climate change resilience and mitigation. Restore4Life engages in 4 demonstration sites and 6 monitoring sites all across the Danube basin to make evident that increased delivery of key ecosystem services, as water and pollutant retention, carbon sequestration and tourism opportunities as well as improved resilience of water-dependent habitats will produce multiple socioeconomic synergies that also provide opportunities for sustainable businesses and investments. Implementation of activities basically aiming to restore lateral connectivity in riverine corridors will be supported by a Restore4Life long term wetland restoration service/ Restore4Life Wetland Reconstruction Accelerator that combines timely integrative wetland management with a novel level of societal engagement. The Accelerator will provide tested indicators, monitoring approaches and decision support to identify adapted and future-oriented restoration goals, techniques and holistic road maps. Citizens and stakeholders will be empowered to engage in the co-design of projects by establishing stakeholder communities of practice, by twinning of similar projects at different realization stage, citizen science, thematic mobile apps and the use of multiple communication channels with special focus on visual, hands-on interactive information flow that promotes emotional links to water shaped environment. The various tools generated by Restore4Life also including handbooks for business audiences and targeted restoration roadmaps will secure the efficient replication of restoration activities in associated regions. In collaboration with similar mission activities, Restore4Life thus efficiently supports integrative social and economic transitions.

National Projects

Analysis and evaluations of the environmental history of selected types of Slovak landscape from the early prehistory to the present

Analýzy a hodnotenia environmentálnej histórie vybraných typov krajiny Slovenska od mladšieho praveku po súčasnosť

Duration: 1. 1. 2023 - 31. 12. 2026
Evidence number:VEGA 2/0031/23
Program: VEGA
Project leader: Mgr. Piscová Veronika PhD.
Annotation:By using natural resources, ecosystem services and activities, man directly or indirectly affects the natural environment and the quality of its components, within a time and space framework. The extent and intensity of human influence on the landscape has been changing over the centuries, depending on current period. To identify the degree of human influence on the landscape, it is essential to get know the original landscape, which has not been significantly affected by man. As such, a landscape no longer exists in the Central Europe; it needs to be scientifically reconstructed in some way. The aim of the project is to reconstruct the landscape, in model areas representing selected types of the Slovak landscape, in several periods of historical and archaeological past and to evaluate the consequences of human activities in them. It is important to analyse the relationship between man and his environment over the time.

Diversity of grassland habitats in Slovakia after two decades in the EU

Diverzita lúčnych a pasienkových biotopov Slovenska po dvoch dekádach v Európskej únii

Duration: 1. 1. 2021 - 31. 12. 2024
Evidence number:2/0132/21
Program: VEGA
Project leader: Ing. Špulerová Jana PhD.
Annotation:The landuse changes dynamicaly in time and these changes reflect in the vegetation composition and structure. The changes in the agricultural landscape are significantly influenced by the agricultural subsidies received in Slovakia since 2004 when the country joined the European Union. The aim of the project is to asses the changes in the floristic composition and functional traits of the grassland habitats of European and national importance using the resampling of phytosociological relevés. Based on the results we will asses the effectiveness and impact of agricultural subsidies on recent state of the studied habitats. At the same time, we will continue testing the influence of various management techniques in the permanent plots on composition of grassland vegetation. The results of our research may be used by the State Conservancy Agency and will serve as a basis for optimisation of management measures for maintaining the favourable condition of grassland habitats of European and national importance.

Long-term changes of atmospheric pollution and their impact to ecosystems

Dlhodobé zmeny znečistenia ovzdušia a ich dopad na ekosystémy

Duration: 1. 1. 2021 - 31. 12. 2024
Evidence number:2/0115/21
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Halada Ľuboš CSc.
Annotation:The project will assess long-term changes in air pollution and their impacts on selected ecosystems. The first project theme is study of changes in atmospheric deposition using bryophytes as pollutant accumulators. We will continue in former several decades lasting research using the ICP Vegetation methodology. We will develop pollution maps for Slovakia and assess impacts on humans and ecosystems. At the Báb LTER site, we will continue the study of pollutants accumulation in bryophytes, tree leaves and soil of forest ecosystem. The second theme is an experimental study of impacts of elevated temperature and nitrogen and phosphorus deposition on the ecosystem of alpine grasslands in the LTER sites Jalovecká dolina (since 2002; phosphorus and 3 nitrogen concentrations; since 2009 also ecosystem regeneration) and Kráľova hoľa (since 2009; temperature rise, nitrogen deposition and their combination). We will repeat all previous measurements, assess changes and impacts on the ecosystem structure and functioning.

BIO RESERVE - Implementation of Agenda 2030 through biosphere reserves

Implementácia Agendy 2030 prostredníctvom biosférických rezervácií

Duration: 1. 7. 2021 - 30. 6. 2025
Evidence number:APVV-20-0108
Program: APVV
Project leader: Mgr. Piscová Veronika PhD.
Annotation:The aim of the project is to create a proposal for a sustainable institutional, financial and legislative model of biosphere reserves in the Slovak Republic and the fundamental framework of their strategic development based on analysis of territorial potential in the context of meeting the objectives of Agenda 2030, resilience theory, foreign experience and examples of good practice. The model will reflect the outputs of the analysis of all components of the potential of four Slovak biosphere reserves in the context of the resilience theory and goals of Agenda 2030. It will develop to the individual business model of each biosphere reserve. It will also include the methodology of creating development documents for biosphere reserves (development strategy, action plan and marketing communication strategy) all four biosphere reserves, taking into account the latest trends in spatial development, promoting the resilience of the areas studied and preserving their exceptional value on a global scale. The project will also include activities aimed at raising awareness among professionals and the general public about the issue, popularizing the project results and exchanging knowledge, ideas and experience with actors from the public, private and non-profit sectors in the form of workshops, conferences, public debates, lectures, conference papers and high quality research outputs.

Landscape-ecological aspects of green and blue infrastructure in creation of an optimal spatial basis for ecologically stable areas in urban landscape.

Krajinnoekologické aspekty zelenej a modrej infraštruktúry pri tvorbe optimálneho priestorového základu ekologicky stabilných plôch v urbanizovanej krajine

Duration: 1. 1. 2021 - 31. 12. 2024
Evidence number:2/0011/21
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Moyzeová Milena PhD.
Annotation:Topical theme of the current research both in our country and in the world is the issue of green (G) and blue (B) infrastructures. Their task is to support and conserve landscape biodiversity and diversity, polyfunctional land use, protection of landscape elements and conservation of important landscape elements. The aim of the project is to prepare the assessment methodology of G and B infrastructures in a settled environment by interdisciplinary scientific research; to produce a specialized methodical tool applicable to planning practices on local level. Apart from the assessment of green and blue infrastructure the partial aim will be the assessment of grey infrastructure associated with the development of settlements and communications as part of comprehensive assessment for resulting proposals. Protection of natural and semi-natural and man-made ecosystems is compulsory for conservation of bio production, environmental and socio-economic functions and general life forms and conditions in urban landscape.

Multi-criteria approach of sustainable multifunctional use of highly vulnerable area determination

Multikriteriálny prístup stanovenia udržateľného polyfunkčného využívania vysoko zraniteľných oblastí

Duration: 1. 1. 2024 - 31. 12. 2027
Evidence number:Vega 2/0015/24
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Krnáčová Zdena PhD.
Annotation:The principles of sustainable soil use are based on respecting the limiting factors, their rational use. Adhering to these principles of farming in highly vulnerable areas, such as WPZ (water protection zone) Žitný ostrov, is especially important. The aim of the project is to determine landscape-ecological potential, assign zones of optimal multifunctional use – protection and revitalisation of land and its elements, sustainable economic use and non-agricultural land use, cultural and social development of the countryside. As farming companies employing conventional methods of farming are the most significant large-scale polluters, we would like to approach the farming subjects in the given area with a questionnaire survey and find out their way of farming, benefits, disadvantages, current legislative restrictions, recommendations, etc. The assessment will be the gauging of the suitability of land use, processing of the results, and their implementation into regional antennas of the National Rural Network of the Slovak Republic, and other strategic documents. One of the aims of the project is to determine the landscape-ecological potential, differentiate the zones of optimal multifunctional use – protection and revitalisation of landscape and its elements, sustainable economic use and non-agricultural land use, cultural and social development of the countryside Another significant aim is to ascertain the current status quo in the form of a questionnaire survey of farming subjects. Its assessment is gauging the suitability of land use, processing of the results, and their implementation into regional antennas of the National Rural Network of the Slovak Republic, and other strategic documents.

CALTER - Soil carbon fluxes in dominant forest ecosystems along elevation gradient in the Western Carpathians

Toky uhlíka v pôde hlavných typov lesných ekosystémov na výškovom gradiente Západných Karpát.

Duration: 1. 7. 2022 - 30. 6. 2025
Evidence number:APVV-21-0412
Program: APVV
Project leader: RNDr. Halada Ľuboš CSc.
Annotation:Forest stores more than 70% of global soil carbon (C) and plays a central role in soil surface-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases. Due to the amount of C stored in the soil, it is essential to recognize that even a small change within this pool could significantly feedback the earth system. Soil organic carbon occurs in diverse forms, which according to the stability, can be divided into an active (labile) fraction, whose persistence time varies from a few weeks to a few months, and a stable fraction, which can persist in the soil for many years or even centuries. Soil loses C by two main processes - respiration and leaching. Both of them show complex spatio-temporal biophysical controls that vary on different scales as a consequence of changes in biotic (plant or microbial community) and abiotic (e.g., soil temperature, soil moisture, soil texture) factors. Soil respiration (Rs) consists of the two main components - heterotrophic (Rh) and autotrophic respiration (Ra), which respond differently to changes in influencing factors. The elevation is a key driver of climate properties playing an essential role in soil carbon content and fluxes. The main aim of our project is to identify C loss by respiration and leaching and to identify their driving factors along an elevation gradient representing the main forest communities in the Western Carpathians. Study plots are located in sites dedicated to long-term ecological research (LTER Slovakia). Possible impact of elevated temperature on soil C fluxes will be studied in open-top greenhouses. For reliable estimation of naturally very variable soil C fluxes we will optimize sampling strategy for each studied ecosystem by spatial stratification and by adjustment of measuring frequency.
Project web page:n/a

Research of specific landscape elements of bio-cultural landscape in Slovakia

Výskum špecifických prvkov biokultúrnej krajiny na Slovensku

Duration: 1. 1. 2022 - 31. 12. 2025
Evidence number:2/0135/22
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Dobrovodská Marta PhD.
Annotation:In a broader sense, it is possible to perceive landscape as mainly bio-cultural and multi-functional, as it constantly adapts to the economic, social, cultural and environmental processes in time and space. The result is formation of bio-cultural systems providing a crucial and effective space for the integration of biological and cultural elements that significantly affect individual bio-cultural systems. The project will focus on development of methodology for detailed interdisciplinary and integrated research of biotic and social-cultural elements and their interrelationships in valuable bio-cultural systems in Slovakia using indicators of biotic and cultural diversity as well as research of extent and structure changes of forms of traditional agrarian relief. Special attention will be paid to identification of change factors (driving forces, global megatrends) of the most valuable bio-cultural systems and determination of selected benefits, which provide for society.

Evolution of soil properties and vegetation on the former agricultural land

Vývoj pôdnych vlastností a vegetácie na bývalej poľnohospodárskej pôde

Duration: 1. 1. 2021 - 31. 12. 2024
Evidence number:2/0147/21
Program: VEGA
Project leader: Mgr. Kollár Jozef PhD.
Annotation:The project is focused on the evolution of soil properties and vegetation in the abandoned agricultural land

Changes in landscape diversity and biodiversity in mountain and alpine areas of the Western Carpathians

Zmeny krajinnej diverzity a biodiverzity v horských a vysokohorských oblastiach Západných Karpát

Duration: 1. 1. 2022 - 31. 12. 2025
Evidence number:2/0048/22
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Barančok Peter CSc.
Annotation:The Western Carpathians cover a significant part of Slovakia. The country is characterised by mountain and alpine areas with their typical landscape structure with various representation of forest and non-forest habitats. Natural and anthropogenic conditioned factors play a significant role in formation of the landscape character. The processes in the natural environment constantly influence landscape diversity and biodiversity, and nowadays, anthropogenic impacts are more and more significant. The project focuses on the assessment of landscape and biodiversity changes in selected areas affected by the effects of natural and anthropogenous stress factors in different time periods. Attention will be paid to the differentiation of landscape diversity and biodiversity changes that were caused by the natural development of the landscape, global factors impact, and the influence of man in the country. Anthropogenic impact will be assessed from the point of view of man`s historical activity in the country, the way and intensity of the land use, to the present-day impact affecting the overall status of the natural environment.

Projects total: 18