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Open AccessTechnical Note

Monitoring Plant Functional Diversity Using the Reflectance and Echo from Space

German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, 07745 Jena, Germany
Department of Systematic Botany and Functional Biodiversity, Leipzig University, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Department of Ecological Modeling, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), 04318 Leipzig, Germany
Institute for Geography, Leipzig University, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(8), 1248;
Received: 16 March 2020 / Revised: 6 April 2020 / Accepted: 10 April 2020 / Published: 15 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing for Biodiversity Mapping and Monitoring)
Plant functional diversity (FD) is an important component of biodiversity. Evidence shows that FD strongly determines ecosystem functioning and stability and also regulates various ecosystem services that underpin human well-being. Given the importance of FD, it is critical to monitor its variations in an explicit manner across space and time, a highly demanding task that cannot be resolved solely by field data. Today, high hopes are placed on satellite-based observations to complement field plot data. The promise is that multiscale monitoring of plant FD, ecosystem functioning, and their services is now possible at global scales in near real-time. However, non-trivial scale challenges remain to be overcome before plant ecology can capitalize on the latest advances in Earth Observation (EO). Here, we articulate the existing scale challenges in linking field and satellite data and further elaborated in detail how to address these challenges via the latest innovations in optical and radar sensor technologies and image analysis algorithms. Addressing these challenges not only requires novel remote sensing theories and algorithms but also urges more effective communication between remote sensing scientists and field ecologists to foster mutual understanding of the existing challenges. Only through a collaborative approach can we achieve the global plant functional diversity monitoring goal. View Full-Text
Keywords: plant traits; biodiversity; functional diversity; biogeography; remote sensing plant traits; biodiversity; functional diversity; biogeography; remote sensing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ma, X.; Migliavacca, M.; Wirth, C.; Bohn, F.J.; Huth, A.; Richter, R.; Mahecha, M.D. Monitoring Plant Functional Diversity Using the Reflectance and Echo from Space. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 1248.

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