Europe's landscape hotspots

Rok Ciglič, Drago Perko



The main purpose of this analysis is to identify places in Europe that can be described as very diverse according to various natural landscape types or landscape regions. In order to obtain these “hotspots,” several geographical divisions of Europe were examined. The analysis was performed for most of Europe at 5 km resolution. First, maps of landscape variety were produced based on each division of Europe taken into account. This step was carried out for each cell by counting the number of different unique natural landscape types or regions that are present in a radius of 50 km around the cell. Several maps of landscape diversity were produced using this method. Each of them was then weighted; the cell values were divided by the number of all unique types or regions in a division. In the final stage, all of the maps were synthesized (averaged) into one map showing landscape diversity for Europe. With this data it was possible to determine Europe’s landscape hotspots and to define the most naturally heterogeneous countries. Among all of the European countries, Slovenia has the highest average landscape diversity; the highest absolute landscape diversity is located in the Norwegian part of southern Scandinavia.


geography; landscape hotspot; natural landscape; diversity; geographic information system; Europe; Slovenia; Norway

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