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Geographical, Soil, and Climatic Conditions

3minút, 21sekúnd

    The area of the Botanic Garden of Pavol Jozef Šafárik University currently extends on an area of approximately 30 hectares, in the unit of the Košice Basin, in the subunit of the Medzevská Pahorkatina Uplands from the geomorphological viewpoint. The northwestern part of the BG area follows a steep slope to the adjacent geomorphological unit of Volovské Vrchy Mountains, which is part of the Slovak Ore Mountains. According to current more accurate measurements, the coordinates of the main entrance to the Botanic Garden of P. J. Šafárik University can be determined at 48°44’07“ north latitude and 21°14’20“ east longitude, while the altitude ranges from 218 to 370 metres above sea level.

    The geological substrate consists of pyroclastic shales and phyllites. The soil in the Botanic Garden is deep, medium-heavy, slightly gravelly at the bottom. Above it, there are deep heavier soils with islets of very shallow soils on ventilated slate glass, the other part consists of medium-deep, very gravelly to stony soils, among which there are also very shallow, skeletal soils.

    Climatically, this area belongs to the T1 and T3 areas, a warm area with summers being long to very long, medium to very warm and dry, winters being short, mild to moderately cold, dry to very dry. Older data show an average annual temperature of 8.4° C (the data should be for the last 40 years until 1964), January with an average temperature of -3.4° C, the average annual total precipitation being 643 mm. New measurements in the Botanic Garden in the years 2008-2011 showed a tendency to increasing average temperatures. The average annual temperature was 10.8° C (the difference of +2.4° C), the average temperature in January -1.1° C (the difference of +2.3° C). The average temperature in July was 21.3° C and the average annual rainfall was only 531 mm, which is just less than 84% compared to the period in the mid-20th century. The North-South direction of the wind prevails in the area of the Botanic Garden. Rising average temperatures and lower precipitation indicate a gradual drying-off of the area. The Slovak Hydro Meteorological Institute registers for Košice Airport show the average temperature deviation for the years 2013-2019 compared to the long-term average (1951-1980) at +2.7° C for the whole year, +2.3° C for January. The differences in precipitation are more significant, for Košice Airport the annual total precipitation (average for the years 2009-2019) is 640 mm, which is even an increase of 15 mm compared to the average in the years 1961-1990. However, this may be related to the fact that in recent years, there has been a lot of precipitation in summer during storms, when local differences in precipitation totals are very significant even in a small area.

    According to the phytogeographical classificaion of Slovakia, the entire Botanic Garden lies in the easternmost part of the 15th phytogeographical district of the Slovak Ore Mountains. The original vegetation in this area was oak-hornbeam forests. Nothing has been preserved from the original vegetation; in the 1950s, the slopes of the Botanic Garden were practically without any tree vegetation. During the existence of the Botanic Garden, afforestation of these slopes began with both native and various alien woody plants, which are a part of the Botanic Garden exhibition collections.

    In the Botanic Garden of P. J. Šafárik University, there are greenhouses of an area of 3,200 m2. Some of them are exhibitions of tropical and subtropical flora. The outdoor area consists of an exhibition of decorative flora on an area of 4 hectares, while half of this area is occupied by the so-called ecological educational area. A gene pool collection of autochthonous taxa of higher plants is located on the area of 4 ares. The Arboretum and the forest part of the Botanic Garden of P. J. Šafárik University are spread over an area of 24 hectares, which naturally continues outside the area of the Botanic Garden as forest communities of the geomorphological units of the Bankov and the Čermeľské Údolie Valleys.

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