AEM: Ecotope Classification System

Ecotope features are classified using a four-level a priori ecological classification system based on the hierarchy: 

 

FORM     >

USE        >

COVER     >

Group+Type

Hydrology, geomorphology, soil formation & sedimentary process. Management of soils, hydrology, vegetation, livestock & material input/output. Land cover at ground surface. GROUPs of management & vegetation systems stratified into TYPEs to identify ecologically distinct landscape features practical for fieldwork.
Ecotope Classes integrate all four levels of classification within each landscape feature, creating detailed ecological map classes that are distinct in both biotic and abiotic conditions.
   Ecotope = FORM + USE + COVER + GROUP+TYPE

Example
SURAac04 = SU + R + A + ac04
Summit + Rainfed crops + herbaceous cover + non-intensive, small-scale, annual crops
Search the Ecotope Inventory.
A database of all ecotopes identified to date.

Citation for AEM: Ellis E. C., H. Wang, H. Xiao, K. Peng, X. P. Liu, S. C. Li, H. Ouyang, X. Cheng, and L. Z. Yang. 2006. Measuring long-term ecological changes in densely populated landscapes using current and historical high resolution imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment 100(4):457-473.