Social metabolism of Czech agriculture in the period 1830-2010
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This article presents the concept of social metabolism and highlights its use for the analysis of the development of agriculture in Czechia. Similar to the general discipline of geography, social metabolism investigates the interactions between people and nature throughout time and space. In this article, we apply social metabolism methods, such as energy flow analysis (EFA), to investigate the transformation of Czech agriculture during the 1830-2010 period. The article is based on public data, as well as datasets compiled by the authors. The article documents the changes in Czechia’s historical development and its effect on land use and agriculture through the observation of several metabolic key indicators within their historical context. It primarily concentrates on changes in crop and livestock production, land use, and associated demographic and societal developments. We conclude that the strategies of all political regimes in the 19th and most of the 20th century increased the socio-metabolic output of agriculture, despite a very different political and economic background. Only the collapse of the Eastern Block resulted in a restructuring of the agricultural sector that produced a visible change in agricultural energy flows trends.