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Special Issue "Forest Biodiversity Conservation with Remote Sensing Techniques"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Inventory, Quantitative Methods and Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Nicholas Coops

Department of Forest Resources Management, The University of British Columbia, 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Active and Passive remote sensing technologies for biodiversity assessment, Forest structure, species diversity and richness, Long Time Series Satellite Data, Dynamic Habitat Index
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Scott Nielsen

Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2H1, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 1-780-492-1656
Interests: Conservation biology, biogeography, biodiversity, terrestrial ecology, habitat fragmentation, boreal forest, remote sensing applications in biodiversity and conservation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mapping the distribution and abundance of species and the traits of their ecosystem is critical to understanding the patterns and trends we observe and for managing biodiversity values. Species respond across a range of scales and to a number of different factors, including among others climate, ecosystem productivity, habitat structure, and disturbance history. Since the launch of the first Earth Observation satellites over 40 years ago, remote sensing techniques have been applied to locating and mapping forest species’ habitat and for scaling up observations to assess threats and monitor change. Remote sensing offers obvious benefits to monitoring and managing biodiversity, including broad coverage, repeat monitoring, and a range of spectral and spatial resolutions that facilitate observations not possible from field-based surveys alone. As remote sensing technologies and techniques continue to evolve, their application to biodiversity conservation become even more relevant and integrated.

This Special Issue of Forests is focused on the assessment of forest biodiversity and conservation utilising remote sensing and Earth Observation technologies. Research articles may focus on any aspect of forest biodiversity and conservation using remote sensing approaches, including the prediction and monitoring of forest species, their environment and habitat, as well as conservation initiatives that utilise remote sensing technologies from local to global scales. We welcome contributions using a range of remote sensing platforms from hand-held mobile devices, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and aircraft, as well as satellite-based approaches

Prof. Dr. Nicholas Coops
Prof. Dr. Scott Nielsen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • forests
  • biodiversity
  • remote sensing
  • satellites
  • unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
  • environment
  • monitoring
  • species
  • scale

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle High Precision Altimeter Demonstrates Simplification and Depression of Microtopography on Seismic Lines in Treed Peatlands
Forests 2019, 10(4), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10040295
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 28 March 2019
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Seismic lines are linear forest clearings used for oil and gas exploration. The mechanical opening of forests for these narrow (3–10 meter) lines is believed to simplify microtopographic complexity and depress local topographic elevation. In treed peatlands, simplified microtopography limits tree regeneration by [...] Read more.
Seismic lines are linear forest clearings used for oil and gas exploration. The mechanical opening of forests for these narrow (3–10 meter) lines is believed to simplify microtopographic complexity and depress local topographic elevation. In treed peatlands, simplified microtopography limits tree regeneration by removing favourable microsites (hummocks) for tree recruitment and increasing the occurrence of flooding that reduces survival of tree seedlings. Little, however, has been done to quantify the microtopography of seismic lines and specifically the degree of alteration. Here, we measured microtopography at 102 treed peatland sites in northeast Alberta, Canada using a high precision hydrostatic altimeter (ZIPLEVEL PRO-2000) that measured variation in local topography of seismic lines and adjacent paired undisturbed forests. Sites were separated into four peatland ecosite types and the presence or absence of recent (<22 years) wildfires. Paired t-tests were used to compare microtopographic complexity and depression depth of seismic lines compared with adjacent forests. Microtopographic complexity on seismic lines was simplified by 20% compared to adjacent stands with no significant change between recently burned and unburned sites, nor between ecosites. Not only were seismic lines simplified, but they were also depressed in elevation by an average of 8 cm compared to adjacent forests with some minor variation between ecosites observed, but again not with recent wildfires. Thus, simplification of microtopographic complexity and the creation of depressions can persist decades after initial disturbance with some differences between peatland ecosites, implying the need for ecosite-specific restoration of topographic complexity. The importance of microtopography for tree regeneration on seismic lines remains an important question for reforestation of these disturbances and thus long-term recovery of habitat for species dependent on undisturbed peatlands, including woodland caribou. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity Conservation with Remote Sensing Techniques)

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