Causes of Water Erosion and Benefits of Antierosion Measures in Model Locality Starovice – Hustopeče (South Moravia Region, Czech Republic)
Petr Karásek 1  
Jan Szturc 2  
Josef Kučera 1  
Jana Podhrázská 1  
Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation, Lidická 25, 60200 Brno, Czech Republic
Mendel University in Brno; Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
Data publikacji: 01-02-2019
J. Ecol. Eng. 2019; 20(2):95–105
The agricultural land fund in the Czech Republic is strongly degraded by water erosion. The main reasons for this situation are changes in the landscape caused by large-area agricultural production in the second half of the 20th century. In the model locality Starovice – Hustopeče (223.5 ha) (South Moravia Region), we analysed changes in the landscape structure and land use for the period 1825 – 2018. In 1825, the mean size of a land block was 0.4 ha. In 1968, the studied locality consisted of just one land block of a size of 223.5 ha. This period marks the beginning of massive water erosion. In 2003, the locality was proposed for land consolidation. Its goal was to reduce erosion and risk of floods. To date, a number of protective measures have been applied in the locality. The risk of water erosion was assessed for the landscape state in 1968 and 2018 in GIS using the USLE method. The effect of the adopted measures was strongly manifested in reduction of the erosion risk (by 44 %). Transport of sediment out of the locality was assessed for 1968 and 2018 by the WATEM-SEDEM model. The protective measures resulted in a decrease of sediment transport out of the locality by 111 t/year (40% reduction). The economic balance of the soil loss showed a positive impact of the applied protective measures. Based on the mean price of arable land in the Czech Republic and costs of the soil relocation within the locality, the application of protective measures brought an economy of at least € 5,000 per year. This sum does not include losses caused by a potential decrease of agricultural crop yields due to the soil degradation, reduction of ecosystem services, and other factors in the past years. The real benefits of application of the protective measures aimed at reducing erosion and increasing water retention in the landscape are significantly higher.
Petr Karásek   
Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation, Lidická 25, 60200 Brno, Czech Republic