A Classification Procedure for Mapping Topo-climatic Conditions for Strategic Vegetation Planning

Josep Maria Serra, Jordi Cristobal, Miquel Ninyerola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental classification addresses issues involving the representation and analysis of continuous and variable ecological data. This study creates a methodology to define topo-climatic landscapes (TCL) in the north-west of Catalonia, which is situated in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula. TCL provide data regarding the ecological behavior of a landscape in terms of its topography, physiognomy, and climate, which are the main drivers of an ecosystem. The variables selected are derived from a variety of different sources, such as remote sensing and climatic atlases. The methodology employed combines unsupervised iterative cluster classification with supervised fuzzy classification. Twenty eight TCL, which can be differentiated in terms of their vegetation physiognomy and vegetation altitudinal range type, were selected for the study area. Furthermore, a hierarchy among the TCL is established which permits the merging of clusters and allows for changes in thematic resolution. By using the topo-climatic landscape map, managers can identify patches with similar environmental conditions and at the same time assess the uncertainty involved in classification. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-89
JournalEnvironmental Modeling and Assessment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Climate
  • Cluster analysis
  • Environmental classification
  • Fuzzy logic
  • Remote sensing
  • Topography
  • Unsupervised classification


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