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LUCAS is the acronym of Land Use and Cover Area frame Survey.
The aim of the LUCAS survey is to gather harmonised information on land use,land cover and environmental parameters. The survey also provides territorial information to analyse the interactions between agriculture, environment and countryside, such as irrigation and land management.
Since 2006, EUROSTAT has carried out LUCAS surveys every three years. 2006 data is considered pilot and has not been used to produce estimates. The most recent surveys happened in the spring-summer of 2009, 2012 and 2015.
Since the LUCAS surveys are carried out in-situ, this means that observations are made and registered on the ground by field surveyors. A mixed panel approach is used, so some points are visited in subsequent years.
In the field, the surveyor classifies the land cover and the visible land use according to the harmonized LUCAS Survey land cover and land use classifications. Landscape pictures are taken in the four cardinal directions. A transect of 250m is walked from the point to the east direction, where the surveyor records all transitions of land cover and existing linear features. A specific topsoil module was implemented in 2009, in 2012 (partly) and in 2015.
From the LUCAS survey in situ data collection, different types of information are obtained:
- Micro data
- Statistical tables
1. Micro data
Land cover, land use and environmental parameters associated to the single surveyed points are available freely for download in the LUCAS dedicated section. Transect indicators on landscape features related to the sigle point (diversity and richness) are also part of the information available for free download. Specific ad hoc modules have been included in some surveys such as the 2009 and 2015 topsoil samples taken on 10% of total LUCAS points. Soil results for 25 countries are available via the JRC Land resource management unit under license agreement. In 2012 the soil module was implemented in Bulgaria and Romania. The soil samples of the 2015 collection are currently being analysed in laboratories.
Statistical tables with aggregated results by land cover, land use at geographical level are available in Eurobase under the domain land cover, land use and landscape (LUCAS). The statistics are presented at NUTS0, NUTS1 and NUTS2 levels using the classification for NUTS 2013.
These estimates are based on the point data conveniently weighted. For further information on weighting refer to chapter 20.5 Data compilation and Quality Reports.
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