A classification of European agricultural land using an energy-based intensity indicator and detailed crop description

Rega, Carlo, Short, Christopher J ORCID: 0000-0003-0429-1143, Pérez-Soba, Marta and Paracchini, Maria Luisa (2020) A classification of European agricultural land using an energy-based intensity indicator and detailed crop description. Landscape and Urban Planning, 198. Art. 103793. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2020.103793

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With agricultural areas covering almost half of European land, proper management of agro-ecosystems is key toachieve the European Union’s environmental and climate objectives. This requires spatially explicit methods andindicators. We developed an approach for the classification of agricultural land by combining two main di-mensions i) land cover, using detailed geo-spatialized census data covering 63 individual crops; ii) managementintensity, measured as the anthropogenic energy required in the primary crop production. As a result weidentified 10 main crop systems further classified into 30‘crop-management systems’at a spatial resolution of 5arcminutes. The resulting maps show the spatial patterns of agricultural management intensity across Europe,both in absolute terms (total energy input per hectare) and relative to the dominant crop system in the spatialunit of analysis. The use of multiple intensity dimensions provides new, more detailed insights on agriculturalintensity by which areas that were previously classified as low-medium intensive - some permanent crops sys-tems or irrigated arable land - appear now as highly intensive. An expert-based evaluation was carried out on theintensity maps and corroborated the obtained results. The generated maps can be used to support decision-making in designing more targeted, context-specific agricultural and territorial policies. In particular,findingscan be relevant in the context of the Common Agricultural Policy post 2020 and the Biodiversity Strategytowards 2030, both of which will benefit from more detailed spatially explicit information to achieve their statedobjectives.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: Article number 103793
Uncontrolled Keywords: Crop systems; EU agriculture; Agricultural management; Land-use intensity; Energy use; REF2021
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General) > S900 Conservation of natural resources including land conservation
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Bethany Leake
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2020 14:01
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2021 08:00
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/8246

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