Remote Sensing & Ecosystems (KB-17-001.02-006)

Project: LNV project

Project Details


Standardized long-term monitoring of habitats at local and Pan-European scale is an important issue especially after the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which is an international legally-binding treaty pursuing three main goals: the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

To support decisions relating to the use and conservation of protected areas and surrounds, the EU-funded BIOdiversity multi-SOurce monitoring System: from Space TO Species (BIO_SOS) project has developed the Earth Observation Data for Habitat Monitoring (EODHaM) system for consistent mapping and monitoring of land cover (LC) classes and subsequent translation of these to habitat categories.

The EODHaM approach uses the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Land Cover Classification System (LCCS) taxonomy and subsequently translates mapped classes to General Habitat Categories (GHCs) from which Annex I habitats (EU Habitats Directive) can be defined. The EODHaM system is comprised of three processing stages and a change detection module and uses a combination of pixel and object-based procedures. The 1st stage uses EO spectral data alone with expert knowledge to classify landscapes according to whether these are vegetated or not vegetated (LCCS Level 1) or terrestrial or aquatic and cross tabulates these to form the Level 2 classification. 39 The 2nd stage classifies the imagery to LCCS Level 3, which establishes whether landscape units are cultivated, managed, artificial or natural/semi-natural based on spectral but also contexttures (e.g., for cultivated classes). Classification beyond LCCS Level 3 is achieved by generating and combining 32 separate layers that represent the individual components (codes) of the LCCS taxonomy. The 3rd stage translates the LCCS classes into GHC categories and Annex I habitat types. An additional module quantifies changes in the LCCS classes and their components, EO derived indices, object sizes and dimensions, the translated habitat maps (i.e., GHCs or Annex I) and landscape indicators. Accuracy is assessed primarily on the basis of the LCCS class descriptions or their components and the GHCs with respect to reference in situ data. The paper provides examples of the implementation of EODHaM procedures to protected sites and their surrounds in Italy, Wales (UK), the Netherlands, Greece, Portugal, India and Brazil, with the Worldview-2 being the sensor of choice. However, the system can be applied to any site worldwide using data acquired by any sensor (e.g., optical, LIDAR) and at any scale.

Effective start/end date1/01/1431/12/14


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