Cultural and historical characteristics
The Třeboňsko PLA has a quite different character from most protected areas in the Czech Republic or abroad. It is not a natural, undisturbed region, but a territory which has been intensively adapted and formed by human activity since medieval times, and which is at a stage of ‘secondary biological balance’ and is also quite densely populated. However, we can say that the majority of this ‘artificial landscape’ gives us the impression of a harmonic landscape and an example of man’s sensitive intervention to the original natural conditions. Before the region was colonised (up to the 12th century), almost all of the territory was covered by various types of forests, from damp alluvial forests in the river valleys and peatbogs to extremely dry forests on the sandy terraces. These contiguous stands were only broken by open marsh areas along the rivers and peat bogs around springs.
The felling of forests and draining of wetlands began with the arrival of human settlers but especially during the medieval period a great number of fishponds were founded. By building water reservoirs and ponds in place of the natural wetlands and alluvial forests, man did not cause the native plant and animal species to become extinct as the edges of these ponds partly replaced the original biotopes. The centuries of economic usage of the area did not affect all sections equally and many of the peat bogs and air-blown sands were left to their own devices. Most of the indigenous forest flora and fauna has also survived, despite the fact that many of the forests are now dominated by conifers planted for economic reasons.