Geografie 2015, 120, 465-488

Impacts of hydrometeorological extremes in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands in 1706–1889 as derived from taxation records

Lukáš Dolák1,2, Rudolf Brázdil1,2, Hubert Valášek2,3

1Global Change Research Centre, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Bělidla 956/4a, 603 00 Brno, Czechia
2Masaryk University, Institute of Geography, Kotlářská 2, 611 37 Brno, Czechia
3Moravian Land Archives, Palachovo nám. 1, 625 00 Brno, Czechia

Received October 2014
Accepted May 2015

Taxation records related to tax relief for farmers whose livelihoods were affected by hydrometeorological extremes (HMEs) on seven estates in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands (Moravia) in the 1706–1889 period are used to study the impacts of HMEs on the socio-economic situation of the farmers. The impacts of HMEs are here classified into agricultural production, material property and the socio-economic situation of individual farmers. Direct impacts took the form of losses of property, supplies and farming equipment, and also of bad yields, depletion of livestock and damage to fields and meadows. Simple lack of income, debt, impoverishment, reduction in livestock and deterioration in field fertility were among the longer-term effects. The impacts are discussed with respect to approaches to mitigation of the negative effects of HMEs and to the problems associated with obtaining support and in terms of a hierarchy of consequent impacts. The paper embodies a methodological approach for analysis of HMEs impacts in South Moravia in the 17th–19th centuries.


The article was prepared with the aid of financial support from research project MUNI/A/0952/2013 “Analysis, evaluation, and visualization of global environmental changes in the landscape sphere” (L. Dolák) and from the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, grant reference 13-19831S “Hydrometeorological extremes in South Moravia derived from documentary sources in the 17th–20th centuries” (R. Brázdil, H. Valášek).


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