Biodiversity is an extremely important component of the Earth System that is both difficult to quantify and vital to understand. In a recent special issue of Remote Sensing, several articles describe the progress we have made in quantifying various aspects of biodiversity using novel imaging technologies. Not long ago the prospect of identifying species from space was considered extremely unlikely, but in the editorial titled “Biological Diversity Mapping Comes of Age,” Dr. Greg Asner reports that tools such as Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and hyperspectral remote sensing have opened new possibilities to quickly quantify plant canopy traits and chemistry. The ability to monitor biodiversity across space and through time will facilitate more detailed studies about the role of climate in driving ecosystem change.
Asner, Gregor (2013) Biological Diversity Mapping Comes of Age. Remote Sensing 5, 374–376. doi:10.3390/rs5010374.