About the lab

The Geographical Institute was founded in 1946 by the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. The institute participates in numerous projects, organizes academic conferences, trains junior researchers, and participates in professional exchanges. The institute has 9 departments: of Physical Geography, Human Geography, Regional Geography, Natural Disasters, Environmental Protection, Geographic Information Systems, and Thematic Cartography, Geographical Museum, and Geographical Library. Most of the Institute research work derives from the Institute‘s long-term research program Geography of Slovenia. The institute issues the Acta geographica Slovenica review and four book series: Geography of Slovenia, Georhythm, GIS in Slovenia, Regional Development, Natural hazards, and Capacities.

Featured projects (1)

The aim is to determine the role of dolines for the hydrological and geochemical connectivity of dolines with the near-surface caves in the vadose zone. By comparing the dynamics between the surface and the subterranean space (caves) over time, we will study and explain the natural processes related to the palaeoenvironment (Holocene) and the extent of human influence.

Featured research (12)

The soil organic carbon (SOC) was determined in soils of enclosed karst depressions (dolines) (NW Dinaric Mts.) to define their potential for organic carbon sequestration. SOC was measured in the forest, succession (scrubland), and grassland plots at the bottom of dolines at four depths (0–40 cm) and for 40 cm soil layer SOC stock was calculated. We demonstrated that the prevailing fine soil fractions, the C/N ratio and soil thickness play a positive role in the storage capacity of SOC in dolines regardless land use type. Grasslands have the lowest SOC storage capacity (106 t/ha/40 cm), while the highest SOC storage capacity is in succession plots (130 t/ha/40 cm). The last are covered by shrub communities dominated by Prunus spinosa, forming dense communities, and are typical of abandoned croplands or meadows that have been impacted by high levels of nutrients during cultivation phase. At this stage, there is no additional nutrient input in studied plots, which lowers the nutrient content and increases the C/N ratio. C/N ratio is the highest in the forest, where SOC stock capacity is 116 t/ha/40 cm. Given the trend towards the abandonment of agricultural land at Kras Plateau (SW Slovenia), we can expect more overgrowth of dolines, and thus an increase in carbon stocks and stabilization of organic carbon in forest soils. In contrary, we noticed the alarming decrease in grasslands and increase in urban land. The SOC storage in 2020 was for 12,538 t/ha/40 cm lower than in 2002. Although grasslands showed the lowest SOC storage, their contribution to total SOC storage in dolines is very important. Since there is a lack of studies on carbon stocks in doline soils, our research is of great importance and a novelty and gives an important background for further research on SOC stock in karst landscapes worldwide.
IZVLEČEK Geografski informacijski sistemi v Sloveniji med letoma 1992 in 2022 Poglavje obeležuje 30. obletnico izdajanja knjižne zbirke GIS v Sloveniji in predstavlja razvoj geografskih informacijskih sistemov v Sloveniji med letoma 1992 in 2022, kot ga kažejo poglavja v tej zbirki. Knjižna zbirka GIS v Sloveniji je bienalna monografska publikacija, ki izhaja v sodih letih in prinaša presek dvelet-nega znanstvenega, strokovnega in pedagoškega dela na področju razvoja in uporabe geografskih informacijskih sistemov v Sloveniji. Izdaja jo Geografski inštitut Antona Melika Znanstvenoraziskovalnega centra Slovenske akademije znanosti in umetnosti. V vseh letnikih je bilo skupaj objavljenih 425 poglavij. ABSTRACT Geographic information systems in Slovenia between 1992 and 2022 The chapter commemorates the 30 th anniversary of the GIS v Sloveniji (GIS in Slovenia) book series and depicts the evolution of geographic information systems in Slovenia from 1992 to 2022, as indicated by the chapters in these books. It is a biennial publication of monographs published in even years. It represents a cross-section of two years of research, technical, and educational activities in Slovenia related to the development and use of geographic information systems. It is published by the Anton Melik Geographical Institute of the Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. To date, 425 chapters have been published through this series.
The book Preteklost in prihodnost ('The past and the future') is the sixteenth volume in the GIS v Sloveniji (GIS in Slovenia) book series and commemorates its 30th anniversary. The goal of the volume is to present the wide variety of research findings on geographical information systems in Slovenia in recent years. Powerful geoinformatic tools and precise data facilitate research on processes and phenomena, and their modelling. The volume presents project outputs and research results in areas such as geology, geomorphology, hydrology, pedology, agriculture, natural disasters, environmental protection, geography, surveying, archaeology, transport, telecommunication infrastructure, tourism, cultural heritage, education, cartography, geographical names, remote sensing, and others. Readers discover new features regarding the applicability of geographical information systems and learn about interesting research findings in many areas.
The Soča River is an important water source, and its water potential was used early for transport and energy production, in the last century especially for electricity. For this reason, the Soča Valley is (was) a permanent »testing ground« for large hydropower plans. Several hydropower plants were built in its middle and lower reaches, generating over 1,100 GWh of electricity per year, and the potential of the Soča River is estimated at 1,800 GWh. In the period from the Second World War until Slovenia’s independence, ambitious plans for the construction of hydropower plants appeared every decade. The chronology of events and the changing arguments »for« and »against« construction are presented, and the development of the discussions is also placed in the context of the development of the idea of nature conservation and participation.
Changes in climate, land use, and land management impact the occurrence and severity of wildland fires in many parts of the world. This is particularly evident in Europe, where ongoing changes in land use have strongly modified fire patterns over the last decades. Although satellite data by the European Forest Fire Information System provide large-scale wildland fire statistics across European countries, there is still a crucial need to collect and summarize in-depth local analysis and understanding of the wildland fire condition and associated challenges across Europe. This article aims to provide a general overview of the current wildland fire patterns and challenges as perceived by national representatives, supplemented by national fire statistics (2009–2018) across Europe. For each of the 31 countries included, we present a perspective authored by scientists or practitioners from each respective country, representing a wide range of disciplines and cultural backgrounds. The authors were selected from members of the COST Action “Fire and the Earth System: Science & Society” funded by the European Commission with the aim to share knowledge and improve communication about wildland fire. Where relevant, a brief overview of key studies, particular wildland fire challenges a country is facing, and an overview of notable recent fire events are also presented. Key perceived challenges included (1) the lack of consistent and detailed records for wildland fire events, within and across countries, (2) an increase in wildland fires that pose a risk to properties and human life due to high population densities and sprawl into forested regions, and (3) the view that, irrespective of changes in management, climate change is likely to increase the frequency and impact of wildland fires in the coming decades. Addressing challenge (1) will not only be valuable in advancing national and pan-European wildland fire management strategies, but also in evaluating perceptions (2) and (3) against more robust quantitative evidence.

Lab head

Matija Zorn
  • Anton Melik Geographical Institute

Members (29)

Blaž Komac
  • Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Drago Perko
  • Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Kladnik Drago
  • Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Mimi Urbanc
  • Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
David Bole
  • Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Rok Ciglič
  • Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Ales Smrekar
  • Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Jani Kozina
  • Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts