The ecosystem services supplied by soil in relation to land use
The concept of ecosystem services has become an important tool for modelling interactions between ecosystems and their external environment in terms of global bio-climatic changes. The provision of ecosystem services depends on biophysical conditions and changes over space and time due to human induced land cover and land use. Ecosystem services linked to natural capital can be divided into three services categories (provisioning, regulating and cultural), and ecosystem functions (structures and processes relevant for ecosystem self-organisation, biodiversity, soil macro-organisms, micro-organisms) must be added. Traditionally, agroecosystems have been considered primarily as sources of provisioning services, but more recently their contributions to other types of ecosystem services have been recognized. Agroecosystems can provide a range of other regulating and cultural services to human communities, in addition to provisioning services and services in support of provisioning. Six agricultural study areas, each of them with two different land use categories (arable land and permanent grasslands) located in various natural conditions of Slovakia, were evaluated. For the analysis of the agroecosystem services seven study sites were selected on the basis of the following criteria: 1) polluted area (inorganic contamination); 2) non polluted area (without the inorganic contamination); 3) area threatened by erosion; 4) abandoned land; 5) low productive land; 6) productive land. For each locality two study sites were selected: arable land with annual plant and permanent grassland. The greatest differences can be seen in the relation to land use and diversity of soil types. The agroecosystem services potential value of arable land and grassland sites located in different soil-ecological regions of Slovakia differ in all categories of services. The most significant differences are in provisioning and regulating services. Our results confirm significant negative correlation only between provisioning and cultural agroecosystem services.
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