Environmental Sciences Europe

Bridging Science and Regulation at the Regional and European Level

Reply to "Down-to-Earth" is Imperative! On the Problems of Landscape-Ecological Regionalisation by Means of Multivariate Statistical Methods Friedrich Weller (Ravensburg, Germany) in DIE ERDE 2009, 140:113-125

Environmental Sciences EuropeBridging Science and Regulation at the Regional and European Level201123:20

DOI: 10.1186/2190-4715-23-20

Received: 1 June 2011

Accepted: 8 June 2011

Published: 8 June 2011


The reply addresses the severe criticism of F. Weller in DIE ERDE 2009, 140: 113-125 dealing with the ecological land classification which was first published in Umweltwissenschaften und Schadstoff-Forschung 12 (4), S. 237-243 and later on detailed in the Handbuch der Umweltwissenschaften, 17. Erg. Lfg. 2006. Mainly, the critique concentrates on the following three issues: 1. The regionalisation dissects uniform landscapes each exhibiting a typical ecological pattern and combines the separated parts with parts of other landscapes to form ecological heterogeneous land classes. 2. The calculation of average values of ecological characters of these heterogeneous land classes is useless and absurd. 3. The nomenclature of the statistically derived land classes violates the correct use of traditional landscape names. The reply shows that, on the one hand, Weller's criticism is due to the impression that he does not understand the statistical method used to calculate the ecological land classification. On the other hand the reply seizes that Weller's idea of land classification does not meet the epistemological principles of experimental sciences such as methodical transparency as well as objectivity and reproducibility of results.

Ecological land classification Geographic Information System (GIS) multivariate statistics objectivity reproducibility transparency