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Landscape typology in the Mediterranean context: a tool for habitat restoration

By I N Vogiatzakis, G H Griffiths, M T Melis, A Marini and M B Careddu


Despite the wide use of Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) as a tool for landscape planning in NW Europe, there are few examples of its application in the Mediterranean. This paper reports on the results from the development of a typology for LCA in a study area of northern Sardinia, Italy to provide a spatial framework for the analysis of current patterns of cork oak distribution and future restoration of this habitat. Landscape units were derived from a visual interpretation of map data stored within a GIS describing the physical and cultural characteristics of the study area. The units were subsequently grouped into Landscape Types according to the similarity of shared attributes using Two Way Indicator Species Analysis (TWINSPAN). The preliminary results showed that the methodology classified distinct Landscape Types but, based on field observations, there is a need for further refinement of the classification. The distribution and properties of two main cork oak habitats types was examined within the identified Landscape Types namely woodlands and wood pastures using Patch Analyst. The results show very clearly a correspondence between the distribution of cork oak pastures and cork oak woodland and landscape types. This forms the basis of the development of strategies for the maintenance, restoration and recreation of these habitat types within the study area, ultimately for the whole island of Sardinia. Future work is required to improve the landscape characterisation , particularly with respect to cultural factors, and to determine the validity of the landscape spatial framework for the analysis of cork oak distribution as part of a programme of habitat restoration and re-creation

Year: 2006
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