Tropical forests are being destroyed at a rate of 1.5 acres every second due to human activities, thereby accelerating climate change through impacts on the carbon cycle and causing the extinction of species dependent on these habitats. Over the past 20 years the EU has been the largest net importer of 'embodied deforestation', significantly ahead of trading powers like China or North America. This trend is at odds with EU commitments to halt forest loss and mitigate climate change over the next 20 years.
In the face of such immediate and globally significant issues, there is a lack of robust scientific knowledge on how tropical deforestation and degradation affects ecosystem stability and carbon pools. There is a need to develop systems that can rapidly assess tropical forest structure and relate this to carbon stocks stored in tree biomass and to habitat quality for keystone species, like primates. Remote sensing systems, such as those available from Earth observation satellites or aircraft, can deliver data on forest structure and composition. This project will utilise innovative new methods of acquiring detailed 3-dimensional data of tropical forests at a landscape-scale, using remote sensing systems on aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), in order to model primate habitat and measure forest carbon stocks. The project will, for the first time, link forest structure in 3-D directly to primate behaviour and forest use, and will develop cost-effective remote sensing methods using UAVs for monitoring changes in habitats and forest carbon stocks.
This innovative project brings together a researcher with expertise in the processing and analysis of data from airborne remote sensing systems, with an internationally recognised group with expertise in remote sensing, geospatial analysis, ecological modelling and primate ecology to evaluate and develop new methods to support a managed and appropriate balance of conservation and economic aims for tropical forests.
Fields of science
- natural sciencescomputer and information sciencesdata sciencedata processing
- natural sciencesbiological scienceszoologymammalogyprimatology
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesecologylandscape ecology
- natural sciencesphysical sciencesastronomyobservational astronomyoptical astronomy
- engineering and technologyenvironmental engineeringremote sensing
Call for proposal
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