Partner Institute: Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague
Start and end of PhD project: September 2014 – August 2018
Supervisor: Ing. Jan Skaloš, Ph.D
PhD title: Wood-pastures in the Czech Republic: change trajectories, proximate causes and underlying driving forces.
Description of PhD research:
The project addresses the issue of historic changes in wood-pastures as the oldest land-use type in Europe, represented by landscape segments of trees scattered through an open area, mainly grasslands. Despite their high ecological, cultural, and agricultural importance, these landscapes have recently been experiencing rapid decline all over Europe due to intensive tree cutting, changes in land use, and lack of regeneration. Although wood-pastures are currently very sparse in the Czech Republic, some traces of wood-pastures can be still observed. Despite some recent studies, information on their historic change patterns is missing. The main goal of this project is to assess change patterns of wood-pastures in the Czech Republic at the landscape level, as well as the driving factors behind them. This information will increase knowledge on long-term change of wood-pastures at the landscape level. If causality between change patterns and the present state of wood-pastures is identified, it will have significant management consequences. The project is undertaken as a case study of sites located in different landscape types in the Czech Republic. Different archival and modern graphic (old maps, aerial photographs, etc.) and text documents with GIS and alternative software and statistical tools are applied as the tools.