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The Network Of Shelterbelts As An Agroforestry System Controlling The Water Resources And Biodiversity In The Agricultural Landscape

Kędziora, Andrzej
Papers on global change IGBP 2015 v.22 no.1 pp. 63-82
agricultural land, biodiversity, ecosystems, forests, groundwater contamination, landscapes, meadows, rural areas, shelterbelts, sustainable development, water resources, Poland
Long-term human activity has led to many unfavourable changes in landscape structure. The main negative effect has been a simplification of landscape structure reflecting the removal of stable ecosystems, such as forests, shelterbelts, strips of meadows and so on, which were converted into unstable ecosystems, mainly farmlands. Thanks to these changes, serious threats have been posed to the sustainable development of rural areas. The most hazardous of these involve a deteriorating of water balance, increased surface and ground water pollution, and impoverishment of biodiversity. An agroforestry system can serve as a toolkit which allows counteracting such negative changes in the landscape. This paper presents the main findings emerge from long-term investigations on the above issues carried out by the Institute for the Agricultural and Forest Environment of the Polish Academy of Sciences.