Development of a National Land-Use/Cover Dataset to Estimate Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Part of the Ecological Research Monographs book series (ECOLOGICAL)


Land-use/cover data are essential to estimate biodiversity and ecosystem services. Although many data and maps have been produced in Japan, there is significant variation in their characteristics, such as publication year, spatial resolution, and land-use/cover classification categories because the purposes of the data and maps differ (e.g., resource inventory). Unfortunately, little attention has so far been paid to biodiversity and ecosystem services, which require preparation of new land-use/cover data. First, we searched existing public national data in Japan published by government sectors and researchers and evaluated their characteristics. Second, we briefly reviewed user needs (e.g., temporal coverage, spatial resolution, and classification categories) to estimate biodiversity and ecosystem services. We then integrated the information, and we present herein a procedure to prepare a new national land-use/cover dataset from existing datasets to bridge the gaps between data producers and users by determining the temporal coverage needed to reveal historic change, determining the spatial resolution suitable for estimation, and setting classification categories needed for estimation. The resultant land-use/cover data could contribute significantly to research and management related to conservation of biodiversity and provision of ecosystem services.


Land use Land cover Vegetation map Biodiversity Ecosystem service Japan 



This study is a contribution to the S-9 and D-1008 projects supported by the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund, Ministry of the Environment, Japan, and the Biodiversity Priority Program, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES). Data prepared according to the present procedure may be downloaded from the website of the Center for Environmental Biology and Ecosystem Studies, NIES (


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Agricultural and Life SciencesThe University of TokyoBukyo-kuJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of AgricultureTokyo University of Agriculture and TechnologyFuchuJapan
  3. 3.National Institute for Environmental StudiesTsukubaJapan
  4. 4.National Institute for Agro-Environmental SciencesTsukubaJapan
  5. 5.Institute of Biogeosciences, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)YokosukaJapan
  6. 6.Department of BiologyKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  7. 7.Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)YokohamaJapan
  8. 8.Forestry and Forest Products Research InstituteTsukubaJapan
  9. 9.Department of Forest ScienceGraduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido UniversityHokkaidoJapan
  10. 10.Rakuno Gakuen UniversityHookaidoJapan

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