High-resolution land use and land cover dataset for regional climate modelling: a plant functional type map for Europe 2015.

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From: Earth System Science Data(Vol. 14, Issue 4)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 346 words

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Abstract :

The concept of plant functional types (PFTs) is shown to be beneficial in representing the complexity of plant characteristics in land use and climate change studies using regional climate models (RCMs). By representing land use and land cover (LULC) as functional traits, responses and effects of specific plant communities can be directly coupled to the lowest atmospheric layers. To meet the requirements of RCMs for realistic LULC distribution, we developed a PFT dataset for Europe (LANDMATE PFT Version 1.0; http://doi.org/10.26050/WDCC/LM_PFT_LandCov_EUR2015_v1.0, Reinhart et al., 2021b). The dataset is based on the high-resolution European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative (ESA-CCI) land cover dataset and is further improved through the additional use of climate information. Within the LANDMATE - LAND surface Modifications and its feedbacks on local and regional cliMATE - PFT dataset, satellite-based LULC information and climate data are combined to create the representation of the diverse plant communities and their functions in the respective regional ecosystems while keeping the dataset most flexible for application in RCMs. Each LULC class of ESA-CCI is translated into PFT or PFT fractions including climate information by using the Holdridge life zone concept. Through consideration of regional climate data, the resulting PFT map for Europe is regionally customized. A thorough evaluation of the LANDMATE PFT dataset is done using a comprehensive ground truth database over the European continent. The assessment shows that the dominant LULC types, cropland and woodland, are well represented within the dataset, while uncertainties are found for some less represented LULC types. The LANDMATE PFT dataset provides a realistic, high-resolution LULC distribution for implementation in RCMs and is used as a basis for the Land Use and Climate Across Scales (LUCAS) Land Use Change (LUC) dataset which is available for use as LULC change input for RCM experiment set-ups focused on investigating LULC change impact.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A700339735