This volume aims to methodologically improve our understanding of biodiversity by linking disciplines that incorporate remote sensing, and uniting data and perspectives in the fields of biology, landscape ecology, and geography. Remote Sensing of Plant Biodiversity provides a framework for how biodiversity can be detected and evaluated – focusing particularly on plants – using proximal and remotely sensed hyperspectral data and other tools such as LiDAR. The volume, whose chapters bring together a large cross-section of the biodiversity community engaged in these methods, attempts to establish a common language across disciplines for understanding and implementing remote sensing of biodiversity across scales.
The first part of Remote Sensing of Plant Biodiversity offers a potential basis for remote detection of biodiversity. An overview of the nature of biodiversity is described, along with ways for determining traits of plant biodiversity through spectral analyses across spatial scales and linking spectral data to the tree of life. The second part details what can be detected spectrally and remotely. Specific instrumentation and technologies are described, as well as the technical challenges of detection and data synthesis, collection and processing. The third part discusses spatial resolution and integration across scales and ends with a vision for developing a global biodiversity monitoring system. Topics include spectral and functional variation across habitats and biomes, biodiversity variables for global scale assessment, and the prospects and pitfalls in remote sensing of biodiversity at the global scale.
Dr. Jeannine Cavender-Bares is a Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. She earned a Masters at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a PhD in Biology at Harvard University. Her research focuses on the ecology and evolution of plant function, applying phylogenetics and spectral data to community ecology, and remote sensing of biodiversity. She is committed to advancing international efforts for global monitoring and assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services to aid management efforts towards sustainability.
Dr. John Gamon is a Professor in the Departments of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences and Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. He also conducts research in Quantitative Remote Sensing at the Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies (CALMIT) in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He earned his Masters and his PhD in Botany at the University of California, Davis, and did his Post-Doctoral Research on Remote Sensing and Ecophysiology at the Carnegie institution in Stanford, CA. His research focus include photosynthesis, ecosystem function, productivity, biodiversity, ecoinformatics and sustainability.
Dr. Philip Townsend is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He earned his PhD in Geography at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His research focuses include physiological remote sensing, imaging spectroscopy, ecosystem ecology, and watershed hydrology.