LANDSCAPE BIODIVERSITY IN TERMS OF CROP STRUCTURES: A SPATIAL ASSESSMENT FOR POLAND

Authors

  • Łukasz Wiśniewski Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.15544/RD.2023.044

Keywords:

cropping structure, agriculture, socio-economic geography, Shannon–Wiener index, diversity, poviat

Abstract

One of determinants of the biodiversity of a landscape is the structure of farm crops. The agricultural practice of sowing a wide variety of crops each of which is well represented in the overall composition of crops has a positive impact on the diversity and abundances of fauna and flora species in a given area. The aim of the study is to identify and characterise spatial diversity in the compositional balance between different crops in Poland. The study employed one of the most popular biodiversity indices, the Shannon–Wiener index (H'), and the basic data was that of sown area (for 20 crops or crop groups) in 2020. The spatial scope of the work was Poland, divided into poviats (380 LAU-1 units). Generalising the results, a north–south divide is visible (with some exceptions, such as Żóławy Wiślane and Suwałki). Northern and central Poland have more balanced crop compositions, while the south sees far greater disproportions between individual crops. Crop structure was most balanced in poviats close to major cities (including Warsaw and Poznań), and least (discounting for urban poviats) in Żóławy Wiślane (around Malbork and Nowy Dwór Gdański). The structural diversity can be accounted for in terms of factors such as: natural predispositions for agricultural production (primarily, soil quality), distance from large cities (market) and organisational characteristics of the farms themselves (including, above all, the spatial distribution of farms of various sizes, which in Poland is the result of historical political divisions).

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Published

2024-03-05

Issue

Section

Multifunctional Approach for Sustainable Use of Bio-Resources