Landscape diversity and hotspots of Slovenia
Making geographical typologies or regionalizations of Slovenia is complicated because of an exceptional landscape diversity of the country. Namely, in this very small area of Europe, four major natural geographical units (the Alps, the Dinaric Alps, the Pannonian Basin, and the Mediterranean) meet and intersect. Thus we can mark the area as a landscape hotspot.
The paper presents a methodological framework and intermediate results of the ongoing analysis of landscape diversity in Slovenia. In order to define areas with the highest landscape diversity inside the country different digital data (e.g. digital elevation model, soil map, rock map, and climate data) were collected. On the basis of the data several diversities are being determined in three different ways: according to the existing geographical typologies and regionalizations of Slovenia; according to the different classifications of relief, rocks, climate, soils, and vegetation; and according to the several natural landscape elements represented by numeric data layers (e.g. slope, curvature). Each diversity map is being defined using quantitative methods. Some of the most diverse areas will be documented on the field.
Maps of landscape diversity and landscape hotspots of Slovenia can expose places with high biodiversity, important natural heritage, and areas with heterogeneous natural characteristics. The last issue is especially important. Natural heterogeneity can prevent good practices from being simply transferred from one area to another.