Perspectives of land evaluation of floodplains under conditions of aridification based on the assessment of ecosystem services

Keywords: land evaluation, climate change, aridification, ecosystem services, floodwater retention, groundwater recharge, flood reservoirs, floodplains


Global climate change has discernible impacts on the quality of the landscapes of Hungary. Only a dynamic and spatially differentiated land evaluation methodology can properly reflect these changes. The provision level, rate oftransformation and spatial distribution of ecosystem services (ESs) are fundamental properties of landscapes and have to be integral parts of an up-to-date land evaluation. For agricultural land capability assessment soil fertility is a major supporting ES, directly associated with climate change through greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration as regulationg services. Since for Hungary aridification is the most severe consequence of climate change, water-related ESs, such as water retention and storage on and below the surface as well as control of floods, water pollution and soil erosion, are of increasing importance. The productivity of agricultural crops is enhanced by more atmospheric CO2 but restricted by higher drought susceptibility. The value of floodplain landscapes, i.e. their agroecological, nature conservation, tourism (aesthetic) and other potentials, however, will be increasingly controlled by their water supply, which is characterized by hydrometeorological parameters. Case studies are presented for the estimation of the value of two water-related regulating ESs (water retention and groundwater recharge capacities) in the floodplains of the Kapos and Drava rivers, Southwest Hungary. It is predictable that in the future land evaluation techniques based on the FAO framework will be more dynamic and integrated with the monetary valuation of ESs. The latter task, however, still involves numerous methodological problems to solve.


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How to Cite
LóczyD., TóthG., HermannT., RezsekM., NagyG., DezsőJ., SalemA., GyenizseP., GobinA., & VaccaA. (2020). Perspectives of land evaluation of floodplains under conditions of aridification based on the assessment of ecosystem services. Hungarian Geographical Bulletin, 69(3), 227-243.