Scientific article
Open access

Exploring Switzerland’s Land Cover Change Dynamics Using a National Statistical Survey

Published inLand, vol. 12, p. 1-20; 1386
First online date2023-07-11

Timely and reliable Land Use and Cover change information is crucial to efficiently mitigate the negative impact of environmental changes. Switzerland has the ambitious objective of being a sustainable country while remaining an attractive business location with a high level of well-being. However, this aspiration is hampered by increasing pressures that are significantly impacting the environment and putting serious demands on land. In the present study, we used the national Land Cover (LC) dataset, named ArealStatistik, produced by the Federal Statistical Office, to explore the spatiotemporal patterns of Land Cover in Switzerland, providing a comprehensive assessment of land cover change at the national scale. Results indicate that, in general, Switzerland has undergone small, spatially dispersed, dynamic, and gradual change trends, with high rates of transition between low growing Brush Vegetation and forest LC classes in recent years. These pixel-level trends are more important in the lower altitude plateau and Jura regions, while greater changes in the spatial configuration of LC are observed in the alpine regions. However, findings also suggest that identifying drivers and understanding the rate of change are limited by the spatial resolution and temporal update frequency of the ArealStatistik. The ability to understand these drivers would benefit from a high-resolution annual LC dataset. Such a data product can be produced using the ArealStatistik together with dense satellite data time-series and Machine/Deep Learning techniques.

  • Land cover change
  • Spatial patterns
  • Intensity
  • Transitions
  • Aerial imagery
  • Statistical survey
Citation (ISO format)
NICHOLSON THOMAS, Isabel Mary, GIULIANI, Gregory. Exploring Switzerland’s Land Cover Change Dynamics Using a National Statistical Survey. In: Land, 2023, vol. 12, p. 1–20. doi: 10.3390/land12071386
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2073-445X

Technical informations

Creation07/11/2023 11:39:03 AM
First validation07/14/2023 1:27:45 PM
Update time07/14/2023 1:27:45 PM
Status update07/14/2023 1:27:45 PM
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