Title: An assessment of landscape heterogeneity in the European Union using Corine Land Cover 2000 & Lucas Survey Data
Citation: The XI International Congress on Project Engineering p. 872-883
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC40284
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC40284
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: This paper explores the spatial dimension of the landscape, with the aim of building an indicator of landscape state for the European Union that accounts for the difference in heterogeneity among rural landscapes across Member States. The investigation mainly utilised land cover data from the CORINE Land Cover 2000 inventory. This was later compared with ground truth photographic data for specific focus regions, obtained from the European Commission LUCAS area frame survey. Landscape characterisation was conducted across the European Union by means of five landscape pattern metrics calculated within a 3 x 3km grid, assuming that this extent represents the range of human view. Grid-level data were synthesised at the level of NUTS 2/3 to assess the landscape median heterogeneity per region. Results reveal significant differences between landscape heterogeneity in the EU-15 and EU-N12. In particular, CLC2000 reveals extreme homogeneity in Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. In Northern Portugal and the Baltic states heterogeneity is high. Reasons for this discrepancy were analysed in terms of agricultural policy and environmental attributes of the different Member States. Individual areas were then investigated in greater depth to assess the degree to which the CORINE data analysis is representative of true landscape heterogeneity. The analysis with LUCAS uncovers a high level of consistency between the two datasets in the focus regions, and discernible ground-level distinctions between areas of "high" and "low" heterogeneity. Despite the promising results, this consistency is not universally conclusive; therefore further analyses are needed to ascertain its reliability.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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