Dataset Open Access

A layer of global potential habitats

Martin Jung

Potential global distribution, e.g. void of human influence, of habitat types following the IUCN habitat classification system at level 1. To create this layer data on the potential distribution of land cover was intersected with data on climate, elevation and topography. In total 12 classes are mapped based on the decision tree by Jung et al. (2020), with the version number of this layer matching the version of the decision tree by Jung et al. Style file for use in QGIS are supplied.

Future versions will include the potential distribution of biomes ( as well as potential fractional cover estimates per class.

This layer depicts predictions of potential habitats for a contemporary reference climatology (1970-2015) and not historical habitats lost to land cover and land use change! An explanation can be found in Hengl et al. (2018).

Note that the underlying potential land cover distributions are initial predictions for testing purposes only. A publication explaining all processing steps is pending. Furthermore mapping discrete habitat classes ignores the predicted uncertainty in mapped classes. More details can be found here .

Fileformat: geoTiff |  Projection: WGS84 | Resolution: ~250m | Extent: Global

Note that this layer or the underlying potential land cover data have not been peer reviewed (as of 09/2020). Use at own risk.
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  • Jung, M., Dahal, P.R., Butchart, S.H.M. et al. A global map of terrestrial habitat types. Sci Data 7, 256 (2020).

  • Jung, M. Dahal, P.R., Butchart, S.H.M. et al. (2020). A global map of terrestrial habitat types (Version 003) [Data set]. Zenodo.

  • Hengl, T., Jung, M, & Visconti, P (2020). Potential distribution of land cover classes (Potential Natural Vegetation) at 250 m spatial resolution (Version v0.1) [Data set]. Zenodo.

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