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Fitosociologia 48 (2) S1 2011

pag. 101-110: An environmental land classification of Spain

*D. Galicia-Herbada1, J. Hervás González1, R. Martínez Torres1, J. Seoane Pinilla2, R. Hidalgo Martín3

1Gerencia de Biodiversidad. Tragsatec. Julián Camarillo 6B. 28037 Madrid. Spain, dgalicia@tragsa.es

2Departamento Interuniversitario de Ecología. Facultad de Ciencias. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. 28049 Madrid. Spain, rmartine@tragsa.es

3Dirección General de Medio Natural y Política Forestal, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, y Medio Rural y Marino. Ríos Rosas 24. 28003 Madrid. Spain, rhidalgom@mma.es

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The complex pattern and relationships of Spanish natural environments are revealed by a land classification that is constructed using a statistical procedure for identifying similar environmental areas, regardless of their geographic location across the country. Rather than treating all environments as equally different, the dissimilarity between them is also quantified. This classification is based on a comprehensive set of variables that strongly influence geographic variation in biotic patterns. The resolution is 1 km2. The resulting 90 strata (68 in Iberian-Balearic Spain, 22 in the Canary Islands) can be aggregated hierarchically depending on the level of generalization that is required.
Although it was primarily constructed as a spatial reference framework for the development of the Natura 2000 network, this classification was conceived as a nationally consistent tool for monitoring, reporting and management of a range of issues, including biodiversity and land uses.


Clustering, Ecological land classification, Environmental gradient, Environmental stratification, Hierarchical classification