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Linking Pan-European Land Cover Change to Pressures on Biodiversity (BIOPRESS)

Projet de recherche S0/F3/040 (Action de recherche S0)

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Description :

Context and objectives

The initial focus of BIOPRESS is to develop a standardised historical (1950 – 2000) land cover change product that will be extendable to the pan-European level. The pan-European products are used to link measures of land cover change to pressures on biodiversity (intensification, abandonment, afforestation, urbanisation) in combination with other biological, environmental and socio-economic data. A state-of-the-art semi-quantitative pressure state-model called MIRABEL converts the quantified pressures into assessments of biodiversity at the pan-European level. The development of a GIS framework that not only supports the extrapolation of the change matrices but also facilitate the integration of pan-European spatial data sets building upon existing European led initiatives and concepts (e.g. EEA TERRIS database). The work also includes the development of a pan-European land cover change (1990-2000 and beyond) monitoring concept based on the integration of Earth observation and field data and focusing on the area in and around the Natura 2000 sites.


For a sample of Natura2000 sites and their surroundings land cover change matrices were produced by backdating CORINE land cover 1990 (level 3) with aerial photos of the 1950’s. For a- subset of the sample of Natura2000 sites a more detailed interpretation and analysis of aerial photographs acquired in 1950, 1990 and 2000 has been undertaken. The land cover change matrices from both exercises is analysed and then extrapolated to the pan-European level using CORINE land cover 1990.


We have created a unique dataset that contains consistent and long term land cover change information for 73+59 samples across Europe. We have prepared interpretation manuals & quality assurance methods. We have achieved a better understanding of variability of landscapes in Europe which will help future development of sampling strategies. The consortium has defined recommendations for monitoring biodiversity at European landscape level. With respect to the land cover change detection the approach adopted is only limited by quality, affordability and long term availability of source data. The BIOPRESS results have been an input into GMES with impact on proposal for land cover service element. Furthermore, we have achieved a better understanding of socio-economic processes driving land cover change and we have discovered the need for consistent and long term social and economic data related to pressures.

Products and services

- a unique dataset that contains consistent and long term land cover change information for 73 (windows)+59 (transect) samples across Europe
- interpretation manuals

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