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Mapping functional diversity from remotely sensed morphological and physiological forest traits


Schneider, Fabian D; Morsdorf, Felix; Schmid, Bernhard; Petchey, Owen L; Hueni, Andreas; Schimel, David S; Schaepman, Michael E (2017). Mapping functional diversity from remotely sensed morphological and physiological forest traits. Nature Communications, 8(1):1441.

Abstract

Assessing functional diversity from space can help predict productivity and stability of forest ecosystems at global scale using biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships. We present a new spatially continuous method to map regional patterns of tree functional diversity using combined laser scanning and imaging spectroscopy. The method does not require prior taxonomic information and integrates variation in plant functional traits between and within plant species. We compare our method with leaf-level field measurements and species-level plot inventory data and find reasonable agreement. Morphological and physiological diversity show consistent change with topography and soil, with low functional richness at a mountain ridge under specific environmental conditions. Overall, functional richness follows a logarithmic increase with area, whereas divergence and evenness are scale invariant. By mapping diversity at scales of individual trees to whole communities we demonstrate the potential of assessing functional diversity from space, providing a pathway only limited by technological advances and not by methodology.

Abstract

Assessing functional diversity from space can help predict productivity and stability of forest ecosystems at global scale using biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships. We present a new spatially continuous method to map regional patterns of tree functional diversity using combined laser scanning and imaging spectroscopy. The method does not require prior taxonomic information and integrates variation in plant functional traits between and within plant species. We compare our method with leaf-level field measurements and species-level plot inventory data and find reasonable agreement. Morphological and physiological diversity show consistent change with topography and soil, with low functional richness at a mountain ridge under specific environmental conditions. Overall, functional richness follows a logarithmic increase with area, whereas divergence and evenness are scale invariant. By mapping diversity at scales of individual trees to whole communities we demonstrate the potential of assessing functional diversity from space, providing a pathway only limited by technological advances and not by methodology.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:05 Dec 2017 16:37
Last Modified:27 Apr 2018 07:47
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-01530-3
PubMed ID:29129931

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