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Ecological Aspects of Transformation in Poland's Agriculture Based on the Wielkopolska Region

Janusz Jankowiak, Barbara Szpakowska and Jerzy Bienkowski
Ambio
Vol. 32, No. 6 (Sep., 2003), pp. 418-423
Published by: Springer on behalf of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4315412
Page Count: 6
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Abstract

Transformation in Polish agriculture initiated by political changes in the 1990s brought about essential variations in the structure of agricultural land use. The share of cereals in cropping patterns increased, while fodder plants decreased. In addition, the level of mineral fertilization was reduced. In livestock production animal stock showed a sharp fall, which led to a decreased load of organic fertilization. The changes in cropping pattern and lower fertilization rates resulted in a decrease in the organic matter level in soils, which may impair soil quality status. These phenomena were strongly manifested in the Wielkopolska Region mainly because of the prevalence of light soils in this area, from which nutrients are readily washed out to groundwaters. It was found that many of the negative aspects of these changes in the agricultural landscape can be mitigated by establishing shelterbelts. We conclude that shelterbeds are especially effective in the control of nutrient output from a watershed.

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