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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Environmental Models, Modules, and Datasets

Assessment of Potential Soil Degradation on Agricultural Land in the Czech Republic


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 44 No. 1, p. 154-161
    Received: May 28, 2014
    Accepted: Sept 30, 2014
    Published: December 1, 2014

    * Corresponding author(s): borivoj.sarapatka@seznam.cz
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  1. Bořivoj Šarapatka *a and
  2. Marek Bednářb
  1. a Dep. of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Palacký Univ., tř. 17. listopadu 12, 771 46 Olomouc, Czech Republic
    b Dep. of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Palacký Univ., tř. 17. listopadu 12, 771 46 Olomouc, Czech Republic, and Dep. of Land Use and Improvement, Czech Univ. of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Praha 6–Suchdol, Czech Republic


Many attempts have been made worldwide to develop methods to identify the areas most threatened by soil degradation. Some soils in afflicted areas may be irreversibly degraded and thus have very little resilience (the ability to restore themselves). For the purpose of assessing the current state of soil degradation in the Czech Republic (CZ) we have developed an overall indicator of land vulnerability to the threat of soil degradation on the basis of individual factors that contribute to soil degradation and are monitored on a long-term basis in various research worksites in the CZ. Individual degradation factors were divided into two groups: chemical and physical degradation. On the basis of principal component analysis, individual degradation factors were assigned a specific weight of influence. With the use of a GIS, the input factors of degradation were combined to create maps of chemical and physical soil degradation, and consequently a map of overall degradation-threatened soils for the CZ, along with a map of areas differentiated according to the prevailing type of degradation. Results showed that, at present, the most important degradation factor in the CZ is water erosion, followed by loss of organic matter. Statistical analysis showed that approximately 51% of agricultural land is moderately threatened in the CZ.

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