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Land use and land cover databases for Mediterranean landscape analysis at the watershed scale

Keywords: CORINE, Sentinel, LUCAS, Landsat, remote sensing, ecosystem services

Author(s): João Pompeu, Itxaso Ruiz, Antonio Ruano, Hugo Bendini and María José Sanz

Date: 2021-22-08

Issue: 2021-01

  Download this working paper (797 KB.)

Land use and land cover (LULC) information is a key variable in ecosystem services modelling and, thus, for sustainable land management planning at the landscape scale. There is a proliferation of LULC products already available for final users, with a variety of spatial resolution, temporal coverage, level of detail in classification and format. In this context, this working paper aims to compare how different LULC products available for El Mijares watershed, in Eastern Spain depict the landscape, where an assessment of the ecosystem services is foreseen as part of a participatory process for land planning and management. Seven LULC products were evaluated: CORINE (raster), S2GLC (raster), LUCAS (sample points), a LUCAS-based Landsat resolution map (raster), SIOSE (predominant land use from polygons), SIGPAC (polygons) and a CORINE-based Landsat resolution map (raster). Results show that forest and shrublands are the main land cover in the watershed followed by agricultural land uses, but their proportions differ amongst the LULC products with a 45.5 % (+4.8 %) overall spatial consistency of the raster maps. We argue that the integration of statistical products and LULC raster maps enhance the understanding of the land use dynamics in the watershed, and conclude that no single product can inform all of the LULC aspects of the landscape. Lastly, and for the particular case of El Mijares, we consider that extending the Landsat/CORINE to the entire Landsat series results in more suitable raster maps for the long-term analysis of the watershed.

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