Abstract: Remote sensing for biodiversity science and conservation.
Grantee Research Project Results
Citation: Turner, W., Spector, S., Gardeiner, N., Fladeland, M., Sterling, E. and M. Steininger. 2003. Remote sensing for biodiversity science and conservation. TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution 18(6): 306-14.
Remote-sensing systems typically produce imagery that averages information over tens or even hundreds of square meters - far too coarse to detect most organisms - so the remote sensing of biodiversity would appear to be a fool's errand. However, advances in the spatial and spectral resolutions of sensors now available to ecologists are making the direct remote sensing of certain aspects of biodiversity increasingly feasible; for example, distinguishing species assemblages or even identifying species of individual trees. In cases where direct detection of individual organisms or assemblages is still beyond our grasp, indirect approaches offer valuable information about diversity patterns. Such approaches derive meaningful environmental parameters from biophysical characteristics that are revealed by remote sensing.