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Title: Forest and the city: a multivariate analysis of peri-urban forest land cover patterns in 283 European metropolitan areas
Authors: Salvati, Luca
Ranalli, Flavia
Carlucci, Margherita
Ippolito, Achille
Ferrara, Agostino
Corona, Piermaria
Keywords: Urban atlas;Sprawl;Socioeconomic context;Landscape metrics;Europe
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: Salvati, L. et al. 2017. Forest and the city: a multivariate analysis of peri-urban forest land cover patterns in 283 European metropolitan areas. "Ecological Indicators" 73: 369–377
Heterogeneous definitions of urban areas and poorly homogenized forest data at the country scale have hampered the comparative assessment of peri-urban forest structure in developed countries. The present study investigates selected landscape characteristics of peri-urban forests in 283 metropolitan areas in
Europe controlling for the role of the local context and regional suburbanization trends. Using land-
scape metrics derived from Urban Atlas maps (a Copernicus/GMES initiative providing a comprehensive
land-use assessment of European cities >100,000 inhabitants), significant differences in peri-urban forest
structure were detected under five European regions. Specific class metrics (percent forest area, mean
patch size, perimeter-to-area ratio) were correlated with urban morphology, landscape and territorial
indicators. On average, forest cover is larger in northern and southern European metropolitan areas. For-
est patch size increases from western to eastern Europe, with more regular patch shapes in central and eastern regions and less regular shapes in the rest of Europe. Forest class area increases with the area
of discontinuous, medium-density settlements. Forest patch size increases with the average patch size
of discontinuous dense urban fabric. Our evidence outlines a ‘sprawl model’ shaping fringe landscapes characterized by discontinuous urban settlements mixed with fragmented – but possibly well protected
– forest patches.
ISSN: 470-160X
Appears in Collections:DIBAF - Archivio della produzione scientifica

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