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Land Cover and Forest Indicator Service

Profile of Service Package

Basic land cover information and forest indicators are essential for environmental monitoring and particularly important within the context of specific environmental and nature protection policies.

Under GSE-FM, indicators provide inputs for environmental monitoring and modelling purposes highlighting the role of forests in issues such as air pollution, stresses within ecosystems, soil and water resources etc.

Forest indicators also highlight the status and changes in the spatial structure of forests.

Consequently, they describe aspects of the inherent diversity of forests and thus highlight biodiversity at national and international levels.

The GSE-FM outputs enhance the details provided by CORINE Land Cover (CLC) delivering higher spatial, temporal and thematic resolutions. This process better aggregates and illustrates the regional diversity of the natural environment including the overall status, pressures and adverse impacts. In summary, the process captures changes of a smaller magnitude with more frequent updates thereby reflecting the contemporaneous situation on the ground.

The service provides indicators for user-defined geographical areas by using EO based forest maps as inputs to derive indicators in the form of ´metrics´ or measures for composition, patch, edge, shape, core areas, nearest neighbour and diversity.

Target groups for the forest environmental indicators service include sub-national, national, pan European and other international bodies with interests in environmental and/or forestry issues.

Specific Service Features

  • Service coverage: usually the entire country
  • EO mapping frequency: two to five years
  • Area coverage: usually the entire country


The following products are combined to a customised service package:

Customisation Options

CORINE-Refinement, based on existing CORINE level 3 mapping

  • Land Cover with a minimum mapping unit of 1ha (instead of minimum mapping unit of 25ha for CORINE-data). Thematic categories according to Corine-Level-3 nomenclature definitions.
  • For the CORINE-Refinement products, additional categories can be mapped on customer request.

Environmental indicators on the landscape-level

  • Derived environmental indicators, e.g. landscape-level spatial pattern of forest cover (MCPFE indicator 4.7), fragmentation of ecosystems and habitats by transport and infrastructure (EEA, TELC02), forest border lines (inside and outside of forest).

Environmental indicators for critical loads calculation under the LRTAP convention

  • Area proportion per land use class per 500m by 500m grid cell.
  • Tree height, average value per forest type (broadleaved, coniferous, mixed) per 500m by 500m grid cell.