Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

The adaptation patterns of human activities to the environmental changes after Last Glacial Maximum in Slovenia

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.12.01  Humanities  Geography  Physical geography 

Code Science Field
P510  Natural sciences and mathematics  Physical geography, geomorphology, pedology, cartography, climatology 

Code Science Field
1.05  Natural Sciences  Earth and related Environmental sciences 
adaptation scenarios, human activities, environmental changes, perception of changes, glaciation, Holocene changes, active tectonics, possibility models, Slovenia
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (21)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  18462  PhD Maja Andrič  Archaeology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  225 
2.  29607  PhD Jure Atanackov  Geology  Junior researcher  2011 - 2012  248 
3.  22647  PhD Boštjan Bajec  Psychology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  157 
4.  16309  PhD Miloš Bavec  Geology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  431 
5.  06252  PhD Mihael Budja  Archaeology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  301 
6.  19124  PhD Bogomir Celarc  Geology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  325 
7.  32050  PhD Petra Jamšek Rupnik  Geology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  208 
8.  28457  PhD Jernej Jež  Geology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  391 
9.  18166  PhD Marko Komac  Geology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  521 
10.  18894  Marta Tamara Korošec    Technical associate  2011 - 2014 
11.  11799  PhD Marko Krevs  Geography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  445 
12.  16049  PhD Barbara Lampič  Humanities  Researcher  2011 - 2014  530 
13.  22585  PhD Dimitrij Mlekuž Vrhovnik  Humanities  Researcher  2011 - 2014  455 
14.  19338  PhD Irena Mrak  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2011 - 2014  327 
15.  09430  PhD Karel Natek  Geography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  598 
16.  21384  PhD Matevž Novak  Geology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  414 
17.  07694  PhD Darko Ogrin  Geography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  518 
18.  03912  PhD Dušan Plut  Humanities  Head  2011 - 2014  1,079 
19.  01304  PhD Marko Polič  Psychology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  988 
20.  20249  PhD Andrej Šmuc  Geology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  409 
21.  15900  PhD Marko Vrabec  Geology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  324 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0215  Geological Survey of Slovenia  Ljubljana  5051410000  11,308 
2.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  98,467 
3.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  63,207 
4.  1555  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engeneering  Ljubljana  1627074  19,855 
The development of geographic environment in Slovenia after the LGM was highly dependant of climated changes. Additionally the environment changes were triggered by the exceptional events (i.e. earthquakes) connected to the active tectonics of our territory. They also highly influenced the life of humans. The combination of processes influenced the surface development dynamics, the hydrological network, paedogenesis as well as the species and extent of vegetation as well as on the settlement pattern and other human activities. Expertise in environmental changes dynamics in Slovenia is of key importance for research of various changes in spatial structures in the case of settlements as well as of other activities which are directly linked (or depending on) with natural environment (i.e. agriculture and land use, traffic network, tourism and recreation). On the basis of the results on the environmental changes dynamics the proposed project plans the definition of adaptation scenarios within which the knowledge on human perception and reaction to environmental changes will be researched as well as considered. The research will be conducted on two content levels: Development and changes of the geographic environment: the new data based on field work and laboratory analysis will serve as the basis for the surface development interpretation, evolution of hydrology, soil and vegetation; this will be the base for future trends predictions. Settlement and other human activities development in space: in connection to changes in the geographic environment the adaptation scenarios shall be defined with regards to past and recent trends as well as to human perceptions of the changes.  The goals of the proposed research project are the surface development dynamics research after the LGM on the basis of modeling supported by field mapping, GIS tools, GPS measurements, absolute datations and wider interpretation from the (perspective of the glaciations, periglacial and other geomorphic processes, active tectonics); the set up of Holocene rapid climate change archieves; the research of Late Glacial and Holocene vegetation development dynamics in the SE Alps; the survey of extreme weather events dynamics and their environmental impacts in the past as well as their trends in the climate change of the past 150 years; analysis and interpretation of settlement pattern as well as of human activities in Slovenia in Holocene connected to rapid climate changes as well as to other key changes in the natural environment; correlation of rapid climate changes to changes in watersheds, water balance, hydrological networks in various geographical environments; the strengthening of the climate memory; the definition of human adaptation patterns to environmental changes in the case of settlement pattern, agriculture and land use, traffic, tourism based on historic and recent experiences; the formation of future adaptation scenarios to changes in the geographic environment based on researched environmental changes dynamics, past adaptation patterns, researched human perceptions, expected technologic, value and other changes as well as on the human readiness for changes. The proposed research project is new within geography and innovative in terms of interdisciplinary approach and also in the cooperation of various institutions (UL, Faculty of Arts - Department of geography, archaeology, psychology), UL, FNT – Department of geology, Geological Survey of Slovenia. A special focus is on the inter-disciplinary approach as well as on the mutual cooperation among various institutions which is needed to conduct the proposed complex research. The project team includes also the CEREGE Institute, which will have a major input especially in the methodological segment of the project. Their cooperation will enable the use of the specific research equipment as well as of their broad knowledge which will bring new dimensions in the environmental change research.
Significance for science
The basic research project was the first in Slovenia addressing the problem of the scientific systems-research approach in a broad interdisciplinary way, and building a common natural science, social science and humanities research model for studying post-glacial, current and expected changes in the dynamics of the geographical environment of Slovenia, and the different adaptation capacity human activities, perceptions and strategies of the responses of various human activities to the environmental changes. Due to the innovation of the chosen theme (glacial and post-glacial dynamics and the contemporary dynamics of geographical environment and its structures) also in the area of the individual scientific disciplines involved in this project, it was necessary first of all to establish mutually comparable and interpretative information base. Special scientific attention needed to be paid to the appropriate use of a variety of methods: absolute dating methods, palynological research, analytical procedures of micromorphological analyzes of sediments and cultural deposits at archaeological sites, palaeoclimatic and historical analysis as essential for temporal placement of dynamic changes of the geographical environment and adapting human activities. Methods have been empirically tested in different geographical sample areas, and the obtained regional and local results properly interpreted in a wider geographical area. The methods for functional exploration of long-term changes in environmental components (emphasis on climate, terrain, lakes and streams, soil and vegetation), as well as for exploring short-term changes, have been upgraded within this fundamental research project - with the emphasis on contemporary dynamics of climate change. The sample areas of research and the application of field and laboratory analyzes were selected on the basis of an interdisciplinary agreement during joint workshops, and interdisciplinary field research has been carried out. Detection and identification of responses of the population to the dynamics of environmental change has been established on the basis of psychologically-geographically-based questionnaire and spatial, human geographical representative sample of respondents. This part of the research integrated the geographical aspects of climate change with psychological, i.e. the relationships of people to climate changes, its causes, measures for mitigation and opportunities for prevention. It provides also a comparison of the former, historical / archaeological identified patterns of behavior with contemporary ones. The proposed adaptation strategies for human activities are methodologically based on the interpretation of the observed historical trends of adaptation, the findings about responses of the population to the dynamics of the environment and the anticipation of technological, economic and changes of values. We suggest that in the future scientific and methodological field of interdisciplinary research of the relationship between the dynamics of the environment and adapting human activities, a critical attention should be paid to development of regional models of systems research. Due to the high landscape diversity, and despite the small size of the geographical territory of Slovenia, it is necessary to implement specific substantive fields within the models, and in this respect supplement the broader research models.
Significance for the country
In the future planning of the sustainable development of Slovenia and its regions, the spatial, developmental and regional policy of the settlement, economic and other systems will need to be adjusted to the to the dynamics of the geographical environment and its components. Slovenia ranks among the countries with moderate environmental risks, but with major regional differences in the level of risk. The project results suggest that in the future ways of adapting to changes in the environment, within a sustainable developmental guidance conceptions, a key consideration will be focused on a) anthropogenically accelerated modern climate change and b) exceptional geological natural events (earthquakes, landslides, sinkholes and landslides). Implemented causal geological, geomorphological, paleoclimatic, archaeological and historical research shows that in the past, as a general rule, prevailed curative adaptation measures. Slovenia is among the countries with stronger neo-tectonic dynamics, with emphasized active slope geological and geomorphic processes (due to the relatively young terrain) that will remain intensive also in the future. Trends in climate change indicate that particularly weather extremes (storms) will increase erosion and other slope processes in case of poorly thought out land use. Also the planning of the settlements will need to take the expected higher slope dynamics into account. Due to its geographical location and climate Slovenia ranks among the most vulnerable countries in the general climate scenarios. Given the projected trends the negative consequences of climate change are expected to prevail in the territory of Slovenia, and will require a high level of preventive adaptation particularly in agricultural (farming) and tourism activities (winter tourism). Identified contemporary climate trends and studied experiences with adapting human activities show that in the future in Slovenia the biggest climate threats will be represented by intense weather extremes, especially floods, storms and droughts. We suggest the preventive measures as the main activity, especially in the field of flood and anti-drought security for settlements and agriculture. The observed long-term climatic trends such as temperature rise, and in particular changing precipitation regime, point to the necessity of preparing a national strategy of spatial development and adaptation to climate change, particularly until 2030 and 2050, which will not only cover agriculture and forestry, but all human activities at the national and regional levels. The level of human perception of changes in the environment in Slovenia, based on the results of the survey, show that in the educational process greater attention should be paid not only to informing about, but also to training methods of adapting to the environment, particularly climate change. On 53 selected locations throughout Slovenia (we focused on areas with intensive natural processes) we further assessed the extent and the ways to adapt to changes. The basic finding is alarming: people, mainly thanks to the media, are aware of the changing environment, most notably climate change, but to prevent or alleviate their negative effects they are not willing to take any specific action. Individuals are aware that the changes of environment reflect in the increasingly frequent and intense natural events (accidents), which they directly observed in the domestic environment. They agree that action is needed at the global and national level, but preparedness for an individual action due to increased frequency of these events has not been detected. People do not (yet) feel directly threatened, which is the main reason for inaction. This duality is reflected also in the fact that the vast majority of the interviewees believes that man can help prevent or reduce further climate change, but they themselves are not willing to do much.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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