Special Issue "Remote Sensing of Savannas and Woodlands"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.
2. Current address: Visiting Scientist, CSIRO Land and Water, Synergy Building, Black Mountain, Canberra, ACT, 2601, Australia
Interests: savannas and grasslands; ecosystem function; remote sensing; ecological modelling; land surface and vegetation dynamics
Savannas and woodlands are one of the most challenging targets for remote sensing. However, they are receiving increased attention, especially in Africa and South America since they are prime candidates for agricultural conversion, important resources for livestock production and subsistence of indigenous communities, and could play a significant role in signalling vegetation shifts driven by the interaction of climate change and rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The sub-Saharan region of Africa played a key role in exemplifying the value of early low resolution polar orbiting satellites and introducing the public to large scale regional dynamics of climate driven vegetation growth via NDVI time series. Fast forwarding to 2018, and a revolution in remote sensing is well underway with both public and private initiatives rapidly addressing the historical trade-offs associated with spatial resolution, temporal frequency and spectral resolution that includes the active LiDAR and Radar domains. These trade-offs are particularly important in savanna and woodland systems where over-story, mid-story and under-story vegetation strata have equal importance in structure, function and dynamics. This Special Issue seeks to provide an overview of the application of the latest sensors and sensor combinations to retrieval of quantitative properties of savannas and woodlands. The contributions should aim to illustrate improvements in retrievals of attributes of cover components and component dynamics and relate these attributes to the wide diversity of issues faced by savanna and woodland systems globally. Since the savanna/woodland complex is subject to many and varied definitions, contributions would be welcome for any ecologically defined vegetation type containing woody plants and a significant grassy understory – for example the continuum from the pinyon juniper systems of the Western USA to the Miombo woodland of Central Africa, and including systems where a patchwork of woody plants and grassland is determined by edaphic factors (e.g., Colombian llanos or Congolian savanna). The understory/grassland component of savannas and woodlands has received much less attention than the woody component and contributions that address this are encouraged. The Special Issue seeks to provide a good coverage of: Different sensors (passive and active, optical, thermal, LiDAR, Radar, high resolution small-Sats, such as the Planet array or the Worldview suite, airborne systems, and combinations thereof); integration of spatial, temporal and spectral resolution across scales to address issues; and a wide range of applications ranging from retrieval of vegetation properties and detection of disturbance and vegetation shifts to understanding of ecosystem processes and land-atmosphere interactions. Potential topics for research and review articles on applications of remote sensing in savannas and woodlands include:
- Retrieval of properties and attributes for individual strata
- Detection of disturbance and trends in composition and cover
- Identification and mapping of invasive species and woody encroachment
- Specific measurement of understory properties including litter and bare soil
- Landscape scale process affecting vegetation persistence, composition and water/nutrient dynamics
- Spatial interrelations and processes among plant functional types and among vegetation patches
- Interactions between vegetation dynamics, fire, climate and herbivory at local and regional scale
- Biochemistry of foliage and detection of species phenomics and traits
- Detection of clearing, harvesting and resource use
- Biomass estimation including woody and non-woody components
- Assessment of fuel quantity and properties
- Assessment of wildlife habitat and biodiversity status
- Applications to ecosystem service assessment in multi-use savanna/woodland
Dr. Michael J. Hill
Manuscript Submission Information
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