Natural Environment Monitoring 2007, No 8, 9-16
SUSTAINABLE PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY IN CENTRAL POLAND – THOUGHTS REGARDING A FUTURE MODEL (‘LEITBILD’) FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF TRADITIONAL AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES
This paper deals with the basic aspects of the far-reaching changes in the agricultural landscapes of Central
Europe over the course of time, and specifically with the impact on biodiversity brought about by the transformation
process after Poland became a member of the EU. A method for ecological landscape analysis as a basis for sustainable
landscape development is described.
The main controls on biodiversity in agricultural landscapes are the diversity of land use types (structure of agricultural land use, types of farming, boundary line density) and the diversity of sites (soil nutrient and water balance,
potential yield). The agricultural landscape of Central Poland is characterized by a medium to high phytodiversity as
a whole. There are considerable differences in species diversity caused by the type of land use.
The basis for the political decisions and planning acts to protect biodiversity and historical landscape structures of
Central Poland are mainly: (1) the site factors, (2) the structure of the elements of the historical agricultural landscape,
(3) the intensity of land use as well as (4) the profitability of the land use types. The following principal aspects should
be considered concerning the protection of biodiversity and historical landscape structures in the agricultural landscape of Central Poland: (1) sustainable nature and landscape conservation are only useful as well as possible within
sustainable farming, (2) nature and landscape conservation services managed by farmers must be financially supported by the public administration and (3) the intensity of land use has to be related to the site factors.