A review of global land cover maps in terms of their potential use for habitat suitability modelling


  • Anastasia Linyucheva Global Change Research Institute, Czech Academy of Science, Bělidla 986/4a, 60300 Brno, Czech Republic
  • Pavel Kindlmann Global Change Research Institute, Czech Academy of Science, Bělidla 986/4a, 60300 Brno; Institute for Environmental Studies, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Benátská 2, 12801 Prague 2, Czech Republic




comparison, Copernicus, ESA, FAO, habitat connectivity, habitat suitability


Recently, there has been a significant increase in number of land cover maps available to researchers and they are now more commonly used. The broad variety requires some system for determining the differences between maps and for estimating their applicability for specific research purposes. We focused on comparing land cover maps from the point of view of how the land cover categories used characterize potentially suitable habitats for species. This comparison includes only freely available global land cover projects with resolutions from 1 km to 10 m. The criteria chosen were temporal and spatial resolution, number of classes and map precision. To demonstrate the differences, two areas of different sizes were always chosen. Our results reveal that maps can significantly vary in their estimates of different types of land cover, even at the same spatial resolution. Results also revealed that one type of vegetation in this area is poorly recorded in all land cover maps. Copernicus CGLS-LC100 and ESA CCI-LC maps appear to be the most suitable for evaluating potentially suitable habitats.