Title: Semi-natural vegetation in agricultural land: European map and links to ecosystem service supply
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC86617
ISSN: 1774-0746
URI: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13593-014-0238-1
DOI: 10.1007/s13593-014-0238-1
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Patches of semi-natural vegetation, encompassing both woody vegetation and grassland, located within larger areas of agricultural land, are acknowledged to play an important role in biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service supply. In spite of its relevance, semi-natural vegetation in agricultural land (SENAGRI) has never been mapped at the EU spatial extent. To recover from this information lack, the original contribution of this paper is twofold. First, it delivers the first 1 km resolution continuous map of abundance of SENAGRI features at the EU scale. Second, it provides an EU region-based assessment of the correlation between the SENAGRI map and existing maps of ecosystem service supplies. The proposed mapping system adopts a convergence-of-evidence approach, whose inputs are multi-resolution geospatial information/data sources, like the 25 m resolution satellite Image 2000/Image 2006 mosaics, to be mapped by the fully automatic Spectral Rule-based preliminary Classifier (SRC), and several ancillary classification maps, like the 1 ha-resolution CORINE Land Cover (CLC) 2006 map and the 25 m resolution European Forest 2006 map. Validation of the SENAGRI output map with the Land Use and land Cover Area frame Sampling (LUCAS) 2006 reference data set reveals that the SENAGRI map accuracy is superior to those of the individual classification maps adopted as input. A region-specific analysis at the EU scale shows that: (i) correlation between SENAGRI abundance and regulating ecosystem services is significant (R2 = 0.67) and (ii) almost no correlation is found between SENAGRI abundance and provisioning ecosystem services. Finally, agricultural land in EU regions is parameterized by SENAGRI abundance, provisioning and regulating ecosystem services supply data. These EU region-specific values reveal that, within the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a portfolio of agro-environmental schemes is recommended to ensure agro-ecosystem sustainability, in compliance with the EU Strategy for Biodiversity to 2020 and the targets of the CAP post-2013.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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