Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Biogeography

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New typology of European agricultural landscapes

Targeting land management, landscape planning, and conservation measures require identifying appropriate spatial units. A new paper by Emma van der Zanden, just published in Urban and Landscape Planning, does so in providing the first topology of European landscapes sensitive to land management, landscape structure, and land cover.

Representing composition, spatial structure and management intensity of European agricultural landscapes: A new typology

 

Emma H. van der Zanden | Christian Levers Peter H. Verburg | Tobias Kuemmerle

 

Comprehensive maps that characterize the variation in agricultural landscapes across Europe are lacking. In this paper we present a new Europe-wide, spatially-explicit typology and inventory of the diversity in composition, spatial structure and management intensity of European agricultural landscapes. Agri-cultural landscape types were characterized at a 1 km2 resolution based on Europe-wide datasets that represent land cover, landscape structure and land management intensity. Two alternative approaches for typology development were used: an expert-based top-down approach, and a bottom-up approach based on automated clustering using Self Organizing Maps (SOMs). Comparison with available national and European landscape typologies showed that our typology deviates from existing biophysical and anthropocentric typologies relevant to agricultural landscapes as result of the inclusion of land management aspects. Concordance occurred between specific European typology classes, while the comparison with national landscape typologies showed a correspondence in agricultural landscape patterns. Our agricultural landscape typology can provide a basis for landscape assessment at a European-scale to help to identify agricultural landscape types prone to change and landscapes that may require policy response.

 

Link to the manuscript: DOI:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.02.005

Citation: Van der Zanden, E., Levers, C., Verburg, P. & Kuemmerle, T. (2016): Representing composition, spatial structure, and management intensity of European agricultural landscapes: A new typology. Landscape and Urban Planning, 150, 36–49.