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Monitoring functional traits by combining multi-scale and multi-temporal remote sensing data to assess biodiversity across Europe

Project description

Remote-sensing data to estimate biodiversity

Ecosystems depend on native biodiversity that strengthens their function, productivity and resilience. Remote sensing is an effective instrument that allows for the estimation of biodiversity from local to global levels, since it can provide reliable spatial and temporal measurements. It is currently being explored as a potential means of assessing biodiversity properties and models in natural and managed ecosystems. However, while most studies have used multiespectral satellites and species richness has been the most common biodiversity metric used, few have used image spectroscopy data. The EU-funded BioScal project will estimate biodiversity based on functional diversity monitoring of different forest communities across Europe. The project will take advantage of each sensor's capabilities to extend the analysis in both space and time.


Biodiversity is a critical indicator of ecosystem functioning and health.
Greater native biodiversity enhances ecosystem function, productivity, resilience, variability of the genetic pool, and a multitude of other ecosystem services. With the technology available now, remote sensing is the only efficient tool to assess biodiversity over regional to global scales
because it can provide measurements at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions. Recent studies have started to explore the potential of remote sensing to estimate biodiversity attributes and patterns in natural and managed ecosystems. Most studies to date have used moderate resolution satellites to investigate species richness with somewhat mixed results. Few studies have had access to image spectroscopy data, which allows greater power in determining the relationships between spectral variability and biodiversity. While it is crucial to measure biodiversity across systems and scales, achieving this goal is challenging. Metrics or indicators are necessary for measuring and monitoring biodiversity at regional to global
scales. In this line accurate information on functional traits can provide a baseline for monitoring biodiversity. The main objective of this study will be to assess biodiversity based on functional trait monitoring on a diversity of forest communities along Europe. The proposed study will exploit the high spectral, spatial and temporal resolution data obtained from multiple remote sensing instruments. From a remote sensing point of view, the
novelty or this research will be to take advantage of each sensor’s capabilities and extend our analysis in both space and time; and from an ecological point of view the novelty could be to develop a workflow for both downscaling and upscaling biodiversity across multiple forest types along Europe.


Net EU contribution
€ 203 149,44
8006 Zurich

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Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Zürich Zürich
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 203 149,44