Ecology’s Remote Sensing Revolution: Biodiversity Monitoring
November 25, 2021
In the past few decades, remote sensing has begun to play an important role in ecology. RS is designed to provide data about objects on Earth. In addition, with the help of this technology, radiation reflected or emitted by things can be obtained. Remote sensing also makes it possible to assess changes even on large-scale territories and in hard-to-reach places. The spread of remote sensing is because this technology has become more accessible. EOS https://eos.com and other companies provide satellite-based monitoring capabilities.
Biodiversity is crucial for the conservation of separate ecosystems and the environment generally. That’s why we have to monitor and care about it. There is a range of methods of biodiversity maintenance, but some of them are pretty limited concerning effectiveness and scale.
For example, field surveys can provide maps of traditional land use and land cover, but they do not give a complete picture of biodiversity, especially for hard-to-reach sites. Furthermore, they don’t work properly for large areas. Accordingly, we need tools and methods that can provide the collection of complete information in any condition.
Remote sensing technologies are the most suitable tool for obtaining information about changes in the environment. In addition, remote sensing allows you to monitor large-scale areas and receive accurate data from them. RS also enables researchers to deeply study various ecological processes and factors influencing landscape changes, including anthropogenic and natural ones. Onboard sensors and satellites are tools that can directly monitor biodiversity in different regions. Remote sensing technologies make it possible to collect data from large areas in a short time. You can read more about it here.
There are several reasons why it is more difficult for plants and animals to adapt to today’s global warming. These difficulties are primarily because the pace of change is extremely rapid. Temperatures are expected to rise even more rapidly in the coming centuries. It leads to the fact that many plants and animals do not have enough time to adapt or move to regions with more suitable conditions. Anthropogenic factors also affect the resilience of ecosystems and the possibilities of adaptation. These factors include hunting for wild animals and contamination of their habitats with various nutrients, such as nitrogen.
Using remote sensing techniques, experts obtain climate data that are key to understanding spatial patterns of microclimate behavior and how they relate to biodiversity. Factors such as temperature, soil moisture, and relative humidity are critical to the survival of many species. Modern satellites make it possible to determine these and other parameters. The findings enable scientists to track the impact of climate change on biodiversity. Remote sensing tools that are used to monitor the environment include various sensors and measuring instruments.
Remote sensing technologies are indispensable when it comes to studying habitat structure. This knowledge makes it possible to gain an understanding of the patterns and distribution of species. For example, detection and distance technology has been used to study heterogeneous bird habitats in temperate forests in Maryland. The researchers used the findings to determine various parameters that are indicators of the diversity of bird species in the trees.
RS sensors can also map the habitat structure of different species. The development of remote sensing technologies makes it possible to obtain the most critical large-scale Spatio-temporal information about the structures of habitats. This information is vital for the conservation of biodiversity.
Examples of RS ecological Application
There are species in the world for which the habitat is critical. These species include giant pandas, for which bamboo makes up 99% of the diet, which means they need to live where it grows. In connection with this fact, the construction of various infrastructure elements causes enormous damage to the pandas. Remote sensing is used to classify fragmentation and artificial corridors as factors. It is necessary to protect the endangered pandas.
With the help of remote sensing technologies, it has become possible to track the migrations of migratory birds. Accessible GPS telemetry is one of the tools for locating migration sites. This data is vital for wildlife managers. Remote sensing can also track the movements of wildebeests in Tanzania. The patterns of activity of wildebeest antelope change under the influence of factors such as vegetation and relief.
Remote sensing technologies made it possible to determine the places where mosquitoes accumulate. Identifying these sites helps assess the risk of disease-causing organisms. There is a positive correlation between remote sensing factors, including temperature, greenery, humidity, and brightness, with many mosquitoes.
Remote sensing technologies can provide humanity with vital assistance in solving climatic and environmental problems. Remote sensing is capable of covering large areas and providing experts with accurate data under all conditions. As far as biodiversity monitoring is concerned, remote sensing techniques and tools are indispensable in this area. They greatly enhance the ability of people to observe and conserve biodiversity.