Satellite remote sensing of ecosystem functions: opportunities, challenges and way forward

Pettorelli, Nathalie, Schulte to Bühne, Henrike, Tulloch, Ayesha, Dubois, Grégoire, Macinnis-Ng, Cate, Queirós, Ana M., Keith, David A., Wegmann, Martin, Schrodt, Franziska, Stellmes, Marion, Sonnenschein, Ruth, Geller, Gary N., Roy, Shovonlal, Somers, Ben, Murray, Nicholas, Bland, Lucie, Geijzendorffer, Ilse, Kerr, Jeremy T., Broszeit, Stefanie, Leitão, Pedro J., Duncan, Clare, El Serafy, Ghada, He, Kate S., Blanchard, Julia L., Lucas, Richard, Mairota, Paola, Webb, Thomas J., and Nicholson, Emily (2018) Satellite remote sensing of ecosystem functions: opportunities, challenges and way forward. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, 4 (2). pp. 71-93.

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Abstract

Societal, economic and scientific interests in knowing where biodiversity is, how it is faring and what can be done to efficiently mitigate further biodiversity loss and the associated loss of ecosystem services are at an all-time high. So far, however, biodiversity monitoring has primarily focused on structural and compositional features of ecosystems despite growing evidence that ecosystem functions are key to elucidating the mechanisms through which biological diversity generates services to humanity. This monitoring gap can be traced to the current lack of consensus on what exactly ecosystem functions are and how to track them at scales beyond the site level. This contribution aims to advance the development of a global biodiversity monitoring strategy by proposing the adoption of a set of definitions and a typology for ecosystem functions, and reviewing current opportunities and potential limitations for satellite remote sensing technology to support the monitoring of ecosystem functions worldwide. By clearly defining ecosystem processes, functions and services and their interrelationships, we provide a framework to improve communication between ecologists, land and marine managers, remote sensing specialists and policy makers, thereby addressing a major barrier in the field.

Item ID: 60290
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2056-3485
Keywords: Biodiversity loss, biodiversity monitoring, ecosystem functions, ecosystem services, satellite remote sensing
Copyright Information: © 2017 The Authors. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Zoological Society of London. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2019 06:29
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 80%
09 ENGINEERING > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090905 Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 100%
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