Post of the month 02/2021: University of Ljubljana

University of Ljubljana (UL) participates in COST FIRELINKS network on the subject of agricultural landscape management and environmental planning, with the emphasis on remediation of fire effects on soil and water and related degradation. UL is the leading Slovenian university, established in 1919. Active member of UL in the COST network is Biotechnical Faculty, UL, where at the Agronomy Department, Centre for Agricultural Land Management and Agrohydrology (CALMA) and Center for Soil and Environmental Sciences (CSES) fire effects on soil quality and the environment are studied.  Academic and scientific disciplines of Biotechnical faculty cover natural resources (soil, physical space, flora, fauna, and water). The Faculty’s scientific and research work combines basic, applied and developmental research work, enabling the rapid transfer of research results into practice. Biotechnical faculty, UL, cooperates with other European institutions, is part of Erasmus+ program, CEEPUS, and exchanges based on bilateral agreements and individual exchanges. Internships and student participation in summer schools are also possible.

Environmental degradation due to fire event, in particular changes in soil quality and effects on agroecosystems are studied at the laboratories dedicated for soil physical, chemical, and biological properties.

Agronomy department at the Biotechnical faculty, University of Ljubljana (Foto Karel Filip Drobne)

Wildfires in Slovenia are especially prevalent in the south-western, i.e. the Mediterranean part of the country. Typical landscapes karstic, Mediterranean-type ecosystems underwent land use changes, switching from extensive to intensive and back, leading to substantial abandonment in recent decades. The areas that are the most at risk from fires, are forests, adjacent dry meadows and karst pastures, adjacent to forests and overgrown areas. The frequency of fire events and their extent has been increasing since 2003. Strong bora winds are common, with high temperatures in summer. In addition to more renowned summer droughts, winter dry periods are also quite common, if not as prominent.

The majority of the fires are caused by infrastructure, e.g., train sparks along the track, or human negligence.

Fire on the meadows under the electricity lane in Črnuče, Ljubljana (Foto Miha M., 2020)

Fires on the dry meadows and pastures at the fringes of the forests are the most common, and occur during dry periods, predominantly in the late summer. Here is the fire on the meadows under the electricity lane in Črnuče, Ljubljana (Foto Miha M., 2020)

Contact: Vesna Zupanc (@vesnazupanc)

Chair for Agrometeorology, Agricultural Land Management, Economics and Rural development

Agronomy Department

Biotechnical Faculty

Jamnikarjeva ulica 101, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

T.: +386 1 3203 293

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