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


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. Agricultural 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.

Landscape and Urban Planning, 150 36-49
Christian Levers
PhD student
Tobias Kuemmerle
Tobias Kuemmerle
Professor & Head of the Conservation Biogeography Lab