The motion of trees in the wind: a data synthesis

We have all seen trees swaying in the wind, but did you know that tree motion can teach us about ecology? Researchers have monitored tree motion for different purposes, from assessing wind damage risk to monitoring drought stress. Our new paper brings all this data together to study the differences between types of trees and test whether previous results generalize across a range of data sets.   We computed a set of descriptive features from the…

Treetops protect forest life from global warming

The forest canopy mitigates peak summer temperatures for the understorey. When that shade disappears, the organisms living there suffer. The cooling leaf canopy protects forest organisms from extreme temperatures and has a significant influence on their adaptation to global warming, according to this study which was published in the journal Science. The climate in the…

Standardizing Ecosystem Morphological Traits from 3D Information Sources

3D-imaging technologies provide measurements of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems’ structure, key for biodiversity studies. However, the practical use of these observations globally faces practical challenges. First, available 3D data are geographically biased, with significant gaps in the tropics. Second, no data source provides, by itself, global coverage at a suitable temporal recurrence. Thus, global monitoring…

Protecting biodiversity and economic returns in resource‐rich tropical forests

In pursuit of socioeconomic development, many countries are expanding oil and mineral extraction into tropical forests. These activities seed access to remote, biologically rich areas, thereby endangering global biodiversity. Here we demonstrate that conservation solutions that effectively balance the protection of biodiversity and economic revenues are possible in biologically valuable regions. Using spatial data on…

A Research Agenda for Microclimate Ecology in Human-Modified Tropical Forests

Logging and habitat fragmentation impact tropical forest ecosystems in numerous ways, perhaps the most striking of which is by altering the temperature, humidity, and light environment of the forest—its microclimate. Because local-scale microclimatic conditions directly influence the physiology, demography and behavior of most species, many of the impacts of land-use intensification on the biodiversity and…

3D Segmentation of Trees Through a Flexible Multiclass Graph Cut Algorithm

Developing a robust algorithm for automatic individual tree crown (ITC) detection from airborne laser scanning (ALS) data sets is important for tracking the responses of trees to anthropogenic change. Such approaches allow the size, growth, and mortality of individual trees to be measured, enabling forest carbon stocks and dynamics to be tracked and understood. Many…