iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Hot spot maps of forest presence in the Mediterranean basin

Sergio Noce   , Alessio Collalti, Riccardo Valentini, Monia Santini

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 5, Pages 766-774 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1802-009
Published: Jun 13, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Technical Reports

The Mediterranean basin is one of the most varied areas worldwide in terms of biodiversity and species richness due to its climatic and geomorphological features, and it is characterized by multi-faceted habitats where forests play a crucial role. Nowadays, the geographic distribution of forest species is well known and multiple geographic datasets are available with different spatial details. However, protection and conservation strategies need more specific information to identify areas with high conservation priority or more vulnerable to the ongoing environmental change (“hot spots”). To this purpose, tree species distribution data were investigated through hot spot analysis using Geographic Information Systems. The analysis was carried out on presence data of ten relevant forest tree species/classes across Mediterranean Europe. By combining spatial analysis and spatial statistics, we identified high and very high hot spot areas for the selected species/classes, which were validated by assessing their biological significance. Given the sub-continental extent of the study, a multiple scale approach was applied ranging from regional, sub-regional to local scale, coherently with the potential multi-level and multi-sector users of similar data and tools. Our results confirm the feasibility of the approach used to increase the quality and quantity of information achievable from available forest distribution datasets. The hot spot maps obtained are a useful support for further spatial evaluations, and may help environmental decision makers to identify priority areas for forest protection and conservation.


Forest, GIS, Spatial Analysis, Hot Spot, Mediterranean Basin

Authors’ address

Sergio Noce
Alessio Collalti
Riccardo Valentini
Monia Santini
Impact on Agriculture, Forests and Ecosystem Services Division (IAFES), Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC), Viterbo (Italy)

Corresponding author

Sergio Noce


Noce S, Collalti A, Valentini R, Santini M (2016). Hot spot maps of forest presence in the Mediterranean basin. iForest 9: 766-774. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1802-009

Academic Editor

Matteo Garbarino

Paper history

Received: Aug 11, 2015
Accepted: Jun 10, 2016

First online: Jun 13, 2016
Publication Date: Oct 13, 2016
Publication Time: 0.10 months

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