Automated method for identification and characterization of landscape units

J. Alcántara-Manzanares, J.M. Muñoz-Álvarez

Abstract


Within the framework of a study aimed at classifying the landscape of Huelva province (Andalusia, Spain) using an objective, reproducible and scalable method of identifying and characterising landscape units, we examined the value of this method for the detailed classification of one such landscape unit –designated Campiñas– with a surface area of 1086 km2. The method in question combined tools used in geographical information systems (GIS), multivariate analysis using the TWINSPAN classification (two-way indicator species analysis) and DCA ordination analysis (detrended correspondence analysis). The variables used were land use and plant cover, municipalities, and slope. The results obtained were validated by discriminant analysis and subjected to plot-level debugging.

Three different landscape units were identified within the Campiñas type; these were delimited cartographically, and the distinctive diagnostic variables of each unit were identified. Most indicator variables were linked to land use, while the slope variable was of no significant value for differentiation purposes. Graphic ordination analysis revealed landscape-unit characteristics that could not be deduced from TWINSPAN analysis, and were thus supplementary to the information provided by that analysis. The results of discriminant analysis confirmed validation of the classification. The variables used were justified, and the method employed was compared to other


Keywords


landscape classification, multivariate analysis, Twinspan, geographic information systems (GIS), Huelva (Andalucía).

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18172/cig.2632

© Universidad de La Rioja, 2013

ISSN 0211-6820

EISSN 1697-9540