Assessing the combined hazards of drought, soil erosion and local flooding on agricultural land: a Czech case study

M Trnka, D Semerádová, I Novotný, M Dumbrovský, K Drbal, F Pavlík, J Vopravil, P Štěpánková, A Vizina, J Balek, P Hlavinka, L Bartošová (+1 others)
2016 Climate Research (CR)  
Present-day agriculture faces multiple challenges, including ongoing climate change that is at many locations combined with soil degradation. The deterioration of soil properties through unsustainable agricultural practices and changing climate could lead to a fall in productivity beyond the point of no return with devastating effects on ecosystem services in large areas. Identifying areas with the highest hazard levels should therefore be a top priority. The key hazards for agricultural land
more » ... the Czech Republic considered in this study include the occurrence of water stress in the topsoil layer during both the first and second half of the growing season, the proportion of fast-drying soils, the risk of sheet and ephemeral gully erosion and the risk of local floods originating primarily from agricultural land. The results clearly marked regions where primary attention should be given to reduce the level of the hazards and/or to increase cropping capacity. These regions were found to be concentrated in the southeastern and northwestern lowland areas. Typical areas with the highest hazard levels were identified: regions with low precipitation and a high proportion of soils with a degraded or naturally occurring low water-holding capacity, and those with steeper than average slopes and terrain configurations in relatively large catchment areas that have urbanized countryside landscapes located at their lower elevations. Despite some limitations, the methods presented in this paper can be applied generally as the first step in developing strategies for efficient reduction of hazard levels.
doi:10.3354/cr01421 fatcat:sdllqognsbck3ga22ttvqfmm7q