A framework for habitat monitoring and climate change modelling: construction and validation of the Environmental Stratification of Estonia

Miguel Villoslada, Robert G. H. Bunce, Kalev Sepp, Rob H. G. Jongman, Marc J. Metzger, Tiiu Kull, Janar Raet, Valdo Kuusemets, Ain Kull, Aivar Leito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Environmental stratifications provide the framework for efficient surveillance and monitoring of biodiversity and ecological resources, as well as modelling exercises. An obstacle for agricultural landscape monitoring in Estonia has been the lack of a framework for the objective selection of monitoring sites. This paper describes the construction and testing of the Environmental Stratification of Estonia (ESE). Principal components analysis was used to select the variables that capture the most amount of variation. Seven climate variables and topography were selected and subsequently subjected to the ISODATA clustering routine in order to produce relatively homogeneous environmental strata. The ESE contains eight strata, which have been described in terms of soil, land cover and climatic parameters. In order to assess the reliability of the stratification procedure for the selection of monitoring sites, the ESE was compared with the previous map of Landscape Regions of Estonia and correlated with five environmental data sets. All correlations were significant. The stratification has therefore already been used to extend the current series of samples in agricultural landscapes into a more statistically robust series of monitoring sites. The potential for applying climate change scenarios to assess the shifts in the strata and associated ecological impacts is also examined.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRegional Environmental Change
Early online date5 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jul 2016

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A framework for habitat monitoring and climate change modelling: construction and validation of the Environmental Stratification of Estonia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this