EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
The European Journal of Environmental Sciences offers a mixture of original peer-reviewed research papers, which bring you some of the most exciting developments in environmental sciences in the broadest sense, often with an inter- or trans-disciplinary perspective, focused on the European problems. The journal also includes critical reviews on topical issues, and overviews of the status of environmental protection in particular regions or countries. The journal covers a broad range of topics, including direct or indirect interactions between abiotic or biotic components of the environment, interactions of environment with human society, or environmental sustainability.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, Vol 11 No 1 (2021), 12–20

The status of commons in the changing landscape in the Czech Republic

Alžběta Vosmíková, Zdenka Křenová

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14712/23361964.2021.2
announced: 20. 06. 2021

abstract

Commons were ancient pastures, which once occurred in every village in many countries, including the Czech Republic. They have been a landscape and social phenomenon for decades. However, social and economic changes brought an end to community ownership and traditional management of these commons. The number of commons has been decreasing since the middle of the 19th century and currently very few remain. This paper evaluates the status of former commons in 35 cadastres in south-western Bohemia and describes the changes they have undergone in the last two hundred years. Three historical periods were identified as the main drivers in the changes in the status of commons. We started with a period from the middle of the 19th century to the 1950s, the second from 1950s to 1990s and the last from 1990s to 2019. Aerial images and field surveys revealed that 93% of former commons disappeared due to afforestation, conversion to fields and natural succession occurring on abandoned commons. The social and economic aspects associated with these changes are mentioned. Some of the commons are part of the Territorial system of landscape ecological stability (Ecological networks) and we suggest that more of the remaining commons should be included in this network. They could play a role in maintaining biodiversity and providing stepping stones in a uniform agriculture landscape. We propose to evaluate the conservation and ecosystem value of these commons in more detail and set up the appropriate management essential for the preservation or restoration of commons, an indisputable part of our biological and cultural heritage.

keywords: aerial images; commons; historical maps; land use changes

Creative Commons License
The status of commons in the changing landscape in the Czech Republic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

210 x 297 mm
published: 2 x per year
print price: 150 czk
ISSN: 1805-0174
E-ISSN: 2336-1964

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