Environmental Engineering Reference
The resulting AEnZ consists of spatial land units that are as homogeneous as
possible from an agronomic perspective.
Short Description of the Contents
We first provide a short review of existing environmental typologies and shows the need
for a environmental typology reflecting the variation in European soil properties.
In the next section the databases used to build an Agri-Environmental Zonation are
presented with the relevant reference to more in depth descriptions of the datasets.
The methodology to develop an Agri-Environmental Zonation is described. An
important part is the selection of a soil variable that explain most of the variation
within the environmental zones from an agronomic perspective. Also the division
of Europe in three zones with different agricultural potential (suited, marginally
suited, unsuited) is described (the Agri-mask database).
The definition of the AEnZ and the characterization of agriculturally important
AEnZ land types are presented. The Seamzones are the basis for the modelling
within SEAMLESS and the attachment of a representative soil profile and climate
variables to each Seamzone is discussed.
The selection of sample regions, the allocation of farms and as input for models
used within the integrated assessment framework of SEAMLESS are applications
of the Agri-Environmental Zonation and Seamzones that are briefly described.
Finally, the Agri-Environmental Zones, Climate Zones, Seamzones and the
applications of the biophysical typology are briefly discussed and summarized.
Environmental Typologies and Up-scaling
Environmental classifications have been produced by several people. Reasons
for developing these classifications were related to the need to monitor
changes in the environment, effects of farming or other human interference on
biodiversity and landscape or systematically describe different environmental
regions. At the International Institute of Applied System Analysis (IIASA) a Global
Agro-Ecological Zonation (GAEZ) at 5 min resolution grid cells has been produced
in 2000 with a recent update for 2007 ( http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/LUC/luc07/
and for the European context far too coarse.
Two groups of environmental classifications can be distinguished:
Classifications based on expert judgment; and
Statistically defined classifications.
Examples of the first group are the stratification of European landscapes by
Meeuws et al. (1990) , the Biogeographical Regions Map of Europe (BRME) by the