Article (Scientific journals)
Does Increasing Farm Plot Size Influence the Visual Quality of Everyday Agricultural Landscapes?
Janeckova Molnarova, Kristina; Bohnet, Iris C; Svobodova, Kamila et al.
2022In International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20 (1), p. 687
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Keywords :
agricultural landscape; land systems; land-use policy; landscape aesthetics; spatial heterogeneity; Humans; Farms; Wood; Policy Making; Conservation of Natural Resources/methods; Ecosystem; Agriculture/methods; Pollution; Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health; Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
Abstract :
[en] The increase in farm plot size is one of the most apparent and significant trends that have influenced central and eastern European agricultural landscapes since the 1950s. In many countries where the average plot size in traditional land-use systems did not exceed several hectares, present-day plots reach the size of 200 ha or more. In recent times, efforts have been made to reverse this trend to restore important ecosystem functions and to re-establish the aesthetic values of everyday landscapes. Visual landscape quality is becoming a major driving force in the development of agricultural landscapes with known effects on people's well-being and health, and this quality plays an increasingly important role in agricultural policies. However, no comprehensive research has been carried out to establish the links between perceived visual landscape quality and the scale of the farm plot pattern. The current study was therefore designed to determine whether greater farmland pattern heterogeneity, i.e., smaller farm plot sizes, is consistent with higher visual preferences. The results showed that people preferred a small-scale plot pattern in landscapes characterized by a flat relief and a low proportion of woody vegetation. These homogeneous landscapes were also overall considered significantly less beautiful than more diverse landscapes. However, even a moderate decrease in plot size notably improved these low beauty scores. These preferences were displayed consistently by all respondents, and most strongly by older respondents, respondents with a higher level of education, and those professionally engaged in landscape design or conservation. The high level of consensus among respondents in rejecting further land consolidation in homogeneous landscapes, which form a large proportion of European farmland, underlines that the results of this study provide a valid argument for discussing sustainable agricultural plot sizes as part of agricultural policy-making.
Disciplines :
Agriculture & agronomy
Author, co-author :
Janeckova Molnarova, Kristina ;  Department of Landscape and Urban Planning, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 00 Praha-Suchdol, Czech Republic
Bohnet, Iris C;  Department of Landscape and Urban Planning, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 00 Praha-Suchdol, Czech Republic
Svobodova, Kamila ;  Department of Landscape and Urban Planning, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 00 Praha-Suchdol, Czech Republic ; Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
Černý Pixová, Kateřina ;  Department of Landscape and Urban Planning, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 00 Praha-Suchdol, Czech Republic
Daniels, Michael ;  Department of Geography and the Environment, University of Denver, Denver, CO 80210, USA
Skaloš, Jan;  Department of Applied Ecology, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 00 Praha-Suchdol, Czech Republic
Drhlíková, Kristýna;  Department of Landscape and Urban Planning, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 00 Praha-Suchdol, Czech Republic
Azadi, Hossein  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > TERRA Research Centre > Modélisation et développement ; Department of Landscape and Urban Planning, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 00 Praha-Suchdol, Czech Republic ; Faculty of Environmental Science and Engineering, Babeș-Bolyai University, 400000 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Zámečník, Roman;  Department of Planting Design and Maintenance, Faculty of Horticulture, Mendel University in Brno, Valtická 337, 691 44 Lednice, Czech Republic
Sklenička, Petr;  Department of Landscape and Urban Planning, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 00 Praha-Suchdol, Czech Republic
Language :
English
Title :
Does Increasing Farm Plot Size Influence the Visual Quality of Everyday Agricultural Landscapes?
Publication date :
30 December 2022
Journal title :
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ISSN :
1660-4601
eISSN :
1661-7827
Publisher :
MDPI, Switzerland
Volume :
20
Issue :
1
Pages :
687
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Funders :
Czech Ministry of Culture NAKI II
Funding text :
This work was supported by the Czech Ministry of Culture NAKI II grant no. DG18P02OVV060—Identification and preservation of historic field patterns.
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