Satellites spy deaths in rain forests

The world’s tropical rain forests are under increasing threats from clearing for agriculture, massive slaughter of wildlife, global climate change and the reduction of forests to ever-smaller fragments.

Studying the effects of these changes on the keystone structural elements of these forests, canopy trees, has up to now been difficult, expensive and in some cases even dangerous. Now a tri-national group of researchers lead by Dr. David B. Clark of the University of Missouri-St. Louis has shown that new high-resolution satellite data can be used to obtain vital data on these rain forest giants.

Writing in the January issue of Ecology Letters, Clark and his colleagues show that images from the newest generation of commercial satellites are of high enough resolution to allow identification of individual canopy trees and detection of individual tree deaths. The ability to locate and follow individual canopy trees from space, they suggest, will usher in a new age of global monitoring of the ecological health of tropical forests world-wide.

Media Contact

Kate Stinchcombe EurekAlert!

All news from this category: Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

This complex theme deals primarily with interactions between organisms and the environmental factors that impact them, but to a greater extent between individual inanimate environmental factors.

innovations-report offers informative reports and articles on topics such as climate protection, landscape conservation, ecological systems, wildlife and nature parks and ecosystem efficiency and balance.

Back to the Homepage

Comments (0)

Write comment

Latest posts

Bringing atoms to a standstill: NIST miniaturizes laser cooling

It’s cool to be small. Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have miniaturized the optical components required to cool atoms down to a few thousandths of…

Record-breaking laser link could help us test whether Einstein was right

Scientists from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) and The University of Western Australia (UWA) have set a world record for the most stable transmission of a laser signal through…

Adaptive optics with cascading corrective elements

A cascaded dual deformable phase plate wavefront modulator enables direct AO integration with existing microscopes–doubling the aberration correction range and greatly improving image quality. Microscopy is the workhorse of contemporary…

Partners & Sponsors

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close