Desnianskyi Biosphere Reserve

Biosphere Reserve Desnyanskyi

Roztochya Biosphere Reserve

Biosphere Reserve Roztochya

Shatskyi Biosphere Reserve

Biosphere Reserve Shatskyi

Land Use

Drainage channel - a driver of dehydration © K. Mack
 

Excessive, sometimes uncontrolled land and resource use put pressure on nature by destruction and degradation of ecosystem functions, leading to higher vulnerability. In the research areas, the dominant land uses are forestry and agriculture. Hydrotechnical melioration and land conversion have played a crucial role for the current state of ecosystems.


Water intense blueberry farming © A. Schick

 

Mainstream, intensive forest management practices like clear-cutting, monoculture cultivation, and overharvesting degrade and harm forest ecosystems. Both past and present intensive and extensive agricultural activities cause land conversion, soil degradation, loss of humus, soil compaction, erosion, and salinization. Soils become marginalized as the crop yields decrease. High levels of fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides are often used to (re-)cultivate and plant.

 
Monoculture forestry-poor in biodiversity & water retention capacity © A. Miskov

 

Land use activities make the forest-, water and wetland, grass- and cropland-ecosystems less resilient to climate change and reduce the nowadays urgently needed regulating functions and capacities. Other examples of land use types putting pressure on the ecosystems are intensive aquaculture, urban and infrastructure development, mining, tourism, and uncontrolled recreational activities.

Land use activities in the Desnianskyi Biosphere Reserve
Structurally poor, dry-condition sunflower plantation in spring © Desnianskyi BR

Agriculture and aquaculture

  • Abandoned land (degraded)
  • Conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural lands
  • Increased water use by agriculture
  • (Uncontrolled) use of pesticides and herbicides

    Risks and effects:

  • Soil erosion
  • Decrease of humus content due to non-organic agriculture
  • Increased water loss by evapotranspiration (by agriculture)

Forestry

  • Monocultures
Wood demand drives logging and forest overuse © K. Mack
  • Clear cutting
  • Overlogging

    Risks and effects:

  • Forest pests and fires

Natural system modification

  • Drainage and melioration
  • Uncontrolled use of resources
  • Absence of tree plantations (orchards)
Dropping water levels & contamination-stresses for aquatic ecosystems © Desnianskyi BR

Risks and effects:

  • Forest, peat-soils and meadow fires

Pollution

  • Pollution of natural surrounding
  • Chemical pollution

Infrastructure-related factors

  • Tourism
Land use activities in the Roztochya Biosphere Reserve
Drained artificial, large-scale fishing pond © J. Kloiber

Agriculture and aquaculture

  • Increase of chemical and fertilizer use in agriculture
  • Cultivation of grasslands (conversion to cropland)
  • Burning of agricultural remains and weeds
  • Succession planting/cropping (in agricultural lands)
  • Use of agricultural machinery
  • Agricultural land abandonment

    Risks and effects:

  • Soil erosion
Uncontrolled urban sprawl and surface sealing © A. Schick

Forestry

  • Clear-cutting
  • Monoculture
  • Illegal logging
  • Deforestation

    Risks and effects:

  • Expansion of pathogens and pests (more frequent)
  • Alien species expansion (shrub and forest encroachment)

Biological resource use

Burning biomass in urban area © A. Schick
  • Overharvest of berries and mushrooms
  • Overhunting
  • Poaching

Human intrusions and disturbances

  • Noise pollution, disturbance

Natural system modification

  • Drainage and melioration
  • Open-agricultural burning
  • Increased water extraction
Flooded post-sulfur mining site with sealed shoreline © J. Kloiber

    Risks and effects:

  • Forest and peat-soil fires

Pollution

  • Chemical pollution of waters
  • Spontaneous landfills

Infrastructure-related factors

  • Tourism
Land use activities in the Shatskyi Biosphere Reserve
Water intense blueberry farming © A. Schick

Agriculture and aquaculture

  • Use of pesticides and herbicides
  • Intensive agricultural activity
  • Overharvesting of fish resources

    Risks and effects:

  • Soil erosion

Forestry

  • Deforestation
Drainage channel - a driver of dehydration © K. Mack
  • Clear-cutting
  • Illegal logging
  • Monoculture

Biological resource use

  • Unlimited harvest of forest resources (mushrooms, berries)
  • Poaching

Natural system modification

  • Drainage and melioration
  • Hydrotechnical melioration (reclamation)
Degraded soils - result of past intense agricultural use © A. Schick

    Risks and effects:

  • Forest and peat-soil fires
  • Invasive and other problematic species
  • Alien species
  • Increase of forest parasites

Pollution

  • Soil pollution
  • Water pollution
Uncontrolled urban sprawl and surface sealing © K. Mack

Infrastructure-related factors

  • Tourism
  • Residential and commercial development
  • Uncontrolled residential development