Europe's green arteries-A continental dataset of riparian zones

Christof J. Weissteiner, Martin Ickerott, Hannes Ott, Markus Probeck, Gernot Ramminger, Nicola Clerici, Hans Dufourmont, Ana Maria Ribeiro de Sousa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Riparian zones represent ecotones between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and are of utmost importance to biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Modelling/mapping of these valuable and fragile areas is needed for improved ecosystem management, based on an accounting of changes and on monitoring of their functioning over time. In Europe, the main legislative driver behind this goal is the European Commission's Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, on the one hand aiming at halting biodiversity loss, on the other hand enhancing ecosystem services by 2020, and restoring them as far as is feasible. A model, based on Earth Observation data, including Digital Elevation Models, hydrological, soil, land cover/land use data, and vegetation indices is employed in a multi-modular and stratified approach, based on fuzzy logic and object based image analysis, to delineate potential, observed and actual riparian zones. The approach is designed in an open modular way, allowing future modifications and repeatability. The results represent a first step of a future monitoring and assessment campaign for European riparian zones and their implications on biodiversity and on ecosystem functions and services. Considering the complexity and the enormous extent of the area, covering 39 European countries, including Turkey, the level of detail is unprecedented. Depending on the accounting modus, 0.95%-1.19% of the study area can be attributed as actual riparian area (considering Strahler's stream orders 3-8, based on the Copernicus EU-Hydro dataset), corresponding to 55,558-69,128 km2. Similarly, depending on the accounting approach, the potential riparian zones cover an area about 3-5 times larger. Land cover/land use in detected riparian areas was mainly of semi-natural characteristics, while the potential riparian areas are predominately covered by agriculture, followed by semi-natural and urban areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number925
JournalRemote Sensing
Volume8
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

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riparian zone
biodiversity
ecosystem function
ecosystem service
land cover
land use
ecosystem management
fuzzy mathematics
ecotone
European Commission
monitoring
vegetation index
terrestrial ecosystem
image analysis
aquatic ecosystem
digital elevation model
urban area
agriculture
Europe
modeling

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Weissteiner, C. J., Ickerott, M., Ott, H., Probeck, M., Ramminger, G., Clerici, N., ... de Sousa, A. M. R. (2016). Europe's green arteries-A continental dataset of riparian zones. Remote Sensing, 8(11), [925]. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8110925
Weissteiner, Christof J. ; Ickerott, Martin ; Ott, Hannes ; Probeck, Markus ; Ramminger, Gernot ; Clerici, Nicola ; Dufourmont, Hans ; de Sousa, Ana Maria Ribeiro. / Europe's green arteries-A continental dataset of riparian zones. In: Remote Sensing. 2016 ; Vol. 8, No. 11.
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Weissteiner, CJ, Ickerott, M, Ott, H, Probeck, M, Ramminger, G, Clerici, N, Dufourmont, H & de Sousa, AMR 2016, 'Europe's green arteries-A continental dataset of riparian zones', Remote Sensing, vol. 8, no. 11, 925. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8110925

Europe's green arteries-A continental dataset of riparian zones. / Weissteiner, Christof J.; Ickerott, Martin; Ott, Hannes; Probeck, Markus; Ramminger, Gernot; Clerici, Nicola; Dufourmont, Hans; de Sousa, Ana Maria Ribeiro.

In: Remote Sensing, Vol. 8, No. 11, 925, 01.11.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Weissteiner CJ, Ickerott M, Ott H, Probeck M, Ramminger G, Clerici N et al. Europe's green arteries-A continental dataset of riparian zones. Remote Sensing. 2016 Nov 1;8(11). 925. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8110925