Maps of grasslands in Europe

Martin Köchy


Modelling of climate effects on agriculture and food security at the European scale requires a harmonized spatially, explicit database of European land use. It can be used for scaling results of point models to an area. A recent review of land cover maps focused on the global scale (Köchy, 2010). European land use as a subset of global land use is contained in the product GlobCover representing the year 2009 with a resolution of 0.3 km. A European product is the CORINE data set with a resolution of 100 m and a minimum mapping unit of 25 ha representing the year 2006 (version 16, European Environmental Agency, 2012).

For scaling the results obtained for individual points to larger regions one needs fine-grained maps using the same categories as represented by the sample points. The CORINE map of pasture cover (Fig. 1) has the advantage of being very fine-grained and the classification being supervised. The visual differences to coarser maps of cover matched to census (Fig. 4), however, indicate, that none of the existing maps is reflecting reality perfectly. Since MACSUR will likely work with official national statistics it may be preferable to use one of the census-calibrated maps. For a better match, official EU spatial reporting schemes may be used at a grain that ensures data privacy of the land owners.

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