Analysing Data of the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) to Detect Patterns of Agricultural Land-Use Change at Municipality Level
European landscapes have featured considerable changes towards intensification and marginalisation.
These major trends are expected to continue in the future. Besides, the cultivation of bioenergy crops has
become an important factor in agricultural land use. A thorough understanding of land-use processes for
management purposes is needed. In this study, the spatial and temporal pattern of agricultural land use
and land-use change was classified at the scale of municipalities from 2005 to 2010. The study region was
the German federal state Hesse. By using data of the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS)
of the European Union and with the help of k-means cluster analysis, five types of agricultural land-use
patterns and dynamics (TLPDs) were detected. These TLPDs represent different sub-regions. Sub-regions
with favourable physical conditions for cultivation are dominated by arable land. A progressive land-use
change occurred by conversion of grassland to arable land. In sub-regions, where physical conditions are
rather unfavourable, especially in mountainous areas, grassland is the predominant land use. But on the
remaining arable land, there is a slight change in favour of maize. The knowledge of sub-regions with spatially
and temporally different agricultural land use could be utilised to develop land management instruments like
site-specific agri-environmental schemes.