Scientists will study the Hranice Karst

23. 3. 2021
The interdisciplinary research of the world phenomenon, the Hranice Karst, won the first year of the MENDELU internal grant competition. The project, led by Jozef Sedláček from the Faculty of Horticulture and Jana Šimečková from the Faculty of AgriSciences, will receive a subsidy of 9 million crowns in the next three years. The competition is administered by the newly established Grant Agency of Gregor Johann Mendel of Mendel University in Brno. Until now, MENDELU researchers have drawn exclusively support from national and EU grant agencies.

“We are looking for other ways to support our scientists. Therefore, we announced a new competition for students for the best business idea. We are now trying to help academics and researchers,” said MENDELU Rector Danuše Nerudová. In both cases, according to her, interesting projects have won. “The Hranice abyss is not only a Czech phenomenon but also a global phenomenon that needs well-crafted territory management,” added Nerudová. The winner was chosen by a jury of eleven competitors.

The winning project is called Landscape as a whole and landscape in detail. The Hranice karst is a unique area on a pan-European scale with hydrothermal genesis, a specific microclimate of underground spaces, and a spring of carbonic acids. Land use varies considerably in a broader context and its development is influenced by many actors with different interests, such as agriculture, mining, nature conservation, recreation, spas, research, or education. Long-term and continuous monitoring of hydrogeological and climatic conditions in correlation with the use of the locality in wider areas and branch contexts is lacking for the professional determination of area management.

The winning project is based on connecting research from the fields of geology, hydrology, and pedology with landscape disciplines. The results of the multidisciplinary approach will contribute to the creation of creative and more precise procedures for designing the principles of sustainable land use, including adaptation to climate change.

According to landscape architect Jozef Sedláček, the project would probably not have taken place without the grant. “The main benefit is that people tried to agree on a specific topic. Otherwise, we probably wouldn’t find ways to each other,” said Sedláček, according to whom a sociologist, soil scientist, or hydrogeologist is also involved in the project. He will receive data from experts, which will enable him to suggest the correct use of the landscape. The results of the research will be useful for other karst areas as well.

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