Cause of loss of heath and scrub
Between 2000 and 2006, 84 % of the change to the area of heath and scrub was due to conversion from transitional woodland to forest. However, in relation to land conversion, the previous coverage of newly developed heathlands and scrublands should be taken into account. For example, when heathlands and scrublands grow on burnt forest areas or abandoned pastures, this might be associated with a loss in biodiversity value.
A more detailed analysis of causes of loss focused on heaths and sclerophyllous vegetation shows that 41 % of losses are due to conversions to forests, 22 % due to fires and 21 % due to conversion to agriculture.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
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