The availability of common standardized geospatial information on composition, structure and distribution of forests is essential to support environmental actions, sustainable forest management and planning policies. Forest types maps are suitable tools for supporting both silvicultural and forest planning choices from local to global scale levels. For this reason local authorities may develop forest types maps independently, in which case a standardized/harmonized framework for their comparison and aggregation is essential. At the same time local forest types maps may not be directly related to pan-European forest resources assessments and classification systems. This paper presents results of the harmonization of four forest types maps available for central Italy. The process is based on a bottom-up approach aimed at maintaining the most detailed common nomenclature system across the different Regions. The final results, in terms of forest types area, are compared with several independent sources of information: (i) two forest maps, one developed at national level on the basis of the Corine Land Cover 2006, and one for high resolution forest / non forest classification developed at pan-European level; and (ii) two sample based inventories: the Italian National Forest Inventory (INFC) and the Italian Land Use Inventory (IUTI). The results show that the proposed bottom up harmonization approach is a suitable tool to guarantee the integrity and homogeneity of local forest types nomenclature systems, and to integrate such local data with European standards.
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