Subproject 7


Mapping of land use and ecosystem services using remote sensing

Remote Sensing is a technology for observing of our landscapes from airplanes and from space. This tool allows us to monitor different land cover and land use classes such as forests, grassland, cropland or settlements in space and over time. The data also comprise information about vegetation and phenology, e.g. the green-up dates, and hence about the status of ecosystems in the landscape.

Figure 1 : Staffelsee and Murnauer Moos in the Bavarian Alpine foothills. A) RapidEye satellite scene with 5 m resolution B)

Land cover derived from remote sensing data (DLM-DE) C) Vegetation index NDVI and D) green-up date in 2011.

This sub-project in the LandKlif project network aims to generate highly accurate

series of measurements from various satellite data in order to receive information about the vegetation development of the last two decades in natural, agricultural and urban landscapes of Bavaria. Comparisons of extreme situations with the climatic normal state are intended to detect which parts of the landscape are vulnerable or resistant to the expected climatic changes.

Figure 2 : Vegetation development in 2011 (in green) compared to mean vegetation development in 2001-2012 (in black),

represented by the vegetation index NDVI. Due to a cold winter, the NDVI scores of February remained below the long-term average. A mild, sunny and warm spring led to an accelerated greening of the vegetation. The summer of 2011 was

comparatively cool and wet, so the vegetation did not reach its medium green level. The sunny October led to a slightly later beginning of autumn.

Another focus of the subproject is agricultural landscapes, in particular the determination of cropping patterns, yield levels, and landscape diversity. In cooperation with the LandKlif project partners the results will serve for the detection of harmful influences on the ecosystem services, such as the provision of fertile soils or the securing of pollination and thus agricultural production and to develop countermeasures on a site level.

Principal investigator: 

PD Dr. habil. Christopher Conrad

Institute of Geography and Geology

University of Würzburg

Oswald-Külpe-Weg 86

97074 Würzburg

phone: +49 931 31 88493