Latest Publications

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 monitoringContinue reading “Standardizing Ecosystem Morphological Traits from 3D Information Sources”

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 onContinue reading “Protecting biodiversity and economic returns in resource‐rich tropical forests”

Dynamics of a human‐modified tropical peat swamp forest revealed by repeat lidar surveys

Tropical peat swamp forests (PSFs) are globally important carbon stores under threat. In Southeast Asia, 35% of peatlands had been drained and converted to plantations by 2010, and much of the remaining forest had been logged, contributing significantly to global carbon emissions. Yet, tropical forests have the capacity to regain biomass quickly and forests onContinue reading “Dynamics of a human‐modified tropical peat swamp forest revealed by repeat lidar surveys”

Partial river flow recovery with forest age is rare in the decades following establishment

River flow responses to forestation at annual time scales The landscapes of the future might look very different to those today, and many have argued that increasing tree cover is essential to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. But forests affect many naturalprocesses, including water availability. We systematically reviewed the literature to determine howContinue reading “Partial river flow recovery with forest age is rare in the decades following establishment”

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 andContinue reading “A Research Agenda for Microclimate Ecology in Human-Modified Tropical Forests”

Imaging spectroscopy reveals the effects of topography and logging on the leaf chemistry of tropical forest canopy trees

In this study we show that logged tropical forests have reduced leaf nutrient concentrations compared with old-growth forests and this becomes more pronounced as forests recover in stature. Our findings suggest rock-derived nutrients, such as phosphorus, in short supply in tropical forests on old soils, are depleted by as much as 30% by logging. ThisContinue reading “Imaging spectroscopy reveals the effects of topography and logging on the leaf chemistry of tropical forest canopy trees”

Capturing juvenile tree dynamics from count data using Approximate Bayesian Computation

The juvenile life stage is a crucial determinant of forest dynamics and a first indicator of changes to species’ ranges under climate change. However, paucity of detailed re‐measurement data of seedlings, saplings and small trees means that their demography is not well understood at large scales, and rarely represented in forest models in detail. InContinue reading “Capturing juvenile tree dynamics from count data using Approximate Bayesian Computation”

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. ManyContinue reading “3D Segmentation of Trees Through a Flexible Multiclass Graph Cut Algorithm”

Seasonal drivers of understorey temperature buffering in temperate deciduous forests across Europe

Forest understorey microclimates are often buffered against extreme heat or cold, with important implications for the organisms living in these environments. We quantified seasonal effects of understorey microclimate predictors describing canopy structure, canopy composition and topography (i.e., local factors) and the forest patch size and distance to the coast (i.e., landscape factors). The local canopyContinue reading “Seasonal drivers of understorey temperature buffering in temperate deciduous forests across Europe”

Changes in leaf functional traits of rainforest canopy trees associated with an El Niño event in Borneo

El Niño events generate periods of relatively low precipitation, low cloud cover and high temperature over the rainforests of Southeast Asia, but their impact on tree physiology remains poorly understood. Here we use remote sensing and functional trait approaches – commonly used to understand plant acclimation to environmental fluctuations – to evaluate rainforest responses toContinue reading “Changes in leaf functional traits of rainforest canopy trees associated with an El Niño event in Borneo”

Using image spectroscopy to study diversity in tropical forests

Tropical forests harbour remarkable density and diversity of woody plants, but how different processes interact to enable so many species to co-exist despite intense competition for resources is yet unresolved. Traditionally, tropical diversity has been studied by establishing field inventory plots, but this is difficult and labour-intensive task, which limits the area that can beContinue reading “Using image spectroscopy to study diversity in tropical forests”

The world’s tallest tropical tree in three dimensions

Here we report the recent discovery of the world’s tallest tropical tree (Shorea faguetiana), possibly the world’s tallest angiosperm (flowering plant), located in the rainforests of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. In addition, we provide a novel three-dimensional exploration of the dimensions of this remarkable tree and use these data to speculate on what drives the limitsContinue reading “The world’s tallest tropical tree in three dimensions”

Forest gain doesn’t stop forest fragmentation in China

Most studies exploring habitat fragmentation effect on biodiversity were conducted at the local or regional level. These studies generally ignored background information (e.g. history, drivers and dynamics) of forest fragmentation which is critical for biodiversity conservation at large scales (e.g. national scale). Hence, these studies provided little practical implications for forest management in fragmented landscapes.Continue reading “Forest gain doesn’t stop forest fragmentation in China”

Indirect effects of habitat fragmentation on seed dispersers influence plant community structure

Traditional studies generally consider habitat fragmentation as a driver of downsizing of plant seeds due to the disappearance of large seed dispersing vertebrates. However, most of these studies focuses on old‐growth forests, and much less is known about influences of habitat fragmentation on seed size pattern in patches of regenerating forests. This pattern may differContinue reading “Indirect effects of habitat fragmentation on seed dispersers influence plant community structure”

A critique of general allometry-inspired models for estimating forest carbon density from airborne LiDAR

There is currently much interest in developing general approaches for mapping forest aboveground carbon density using structural information contained in airborne LiDAR data. The most widely utilized model in tropical forests assumes that aboveground carbon density is a compound power function of top of canopy height (a metric easily derived from LiDAR), basal area andContinue reading “A critique of general allometry-inspired models for estimating forest carbon density from airborne LiDAR”

Canopy structure and topography jointly constrain the microclimate of human‐modified tropical landscapes

Local‐scale microclimatic conditions in forest understoreys play a key role in shaping the composition, diversity and function of these ecosystems. Consequently, understanding what drives variation in forest microclimate is critical to forecasting ecosystem responses to global change, particularly in the tropics where many species already operate close to their thermal limits and rapid land‐use transformationContinue reading “Canopy structure and topography jointly constrain the microclimate of human‐modified tropical landscapes”

Assessing the Progress of REDD+ Projects towards the Sustainable Development Goals

Almost a decade since the establishment of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+), this study investigates the extent to which REDD+ projects are delivering on the promise of co-benefits and the elusive ‘triple-win’ for climate, biodiversity, and local communities. The Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCB) is among several leading REDD+ certification standards thatContinue reading “Assessing the Progress of REDD+ Projects towards the Sustainable Development Goals”

A simple approach to forest structure classification using airborne laser scanning that can be adopted across bioregions

Reliable assessment of forest structural types (FSTs) aids sustainable forest management. We developed a methodology for the identification of FSTs using airborne laser scanning (ALS), and demonstrate its generality by applying it to forests from Boreal, Mediterranean and Atlantic biogeographical regions. First, hierarchal clustering analysis (HCA) was applied and clusters (FSTs) were determined in coniferousContinue reading “A simple approach to forest structure classification using airborne laser scanning that can be adopted across bioregions”

Estimating aboveground carbon density and its uncertainty in Borneo’s structurally complex tropical forests using airborne laser scanning

Borneo contains some of the world’s most biodiverse and carbon-dense tropical forest, but this 750 000 km2 island has lost 62 % of its old-growth forests within the last 40 years. Efforts to protect and restore the remaining forests of Borneo hinge on recognizing the ecosystem services they provide, including their ability to store and sequester carbon. Airborne laser scanningContinue reading “Estimating aboveground carbon density and its uncertainty in Borneo’s structurally complex tropical forests using airborne laser scanning”

Effect of Tree Phenology on LiDAR Measurement of Mediterranean Forest Structure

Retrieval of forest biophysical properties using airborne LiDAR is known to differ between leaf-on and leaf-off states of deciduous trees, but much less is understood about the within-season effects of leafing phenology. Here, we compare two LiDAR surveys separated by just six weeks in spring, in order to assess whether LiDAR variables were influenced byContinue reading “Effect of Tree Phenology on LiDAR Measurement of Mediterranean Forest Structure”

Topography shapes the structure, composition and function of tropical forest landscapes

Topography is a key driver of tropical forest structure and composition, as it constrains local nutrient and hydraulic conditions within which trees grow. Yet, we do not fully understand how changes in forest physiognomy driven by topography impact other emergent properties of forests, such as their aboveground carbon density (ACD). Working in Borneo – atContinue reading “Topography shapes the structure, composition and function of tropical forest landscapes”

Blind image fusion for hyperspectral imaging with the directional total variation

Hyperspectral imaging is a cutting-edge type of remote sensing used for mapping vegetation properties, rock minerals and other materials. A major drawback of hyperspectral imaging devices is their intrinsic low spatial resolution. In this paper, we propose a method for increasing the spatial resolution of a hyperspectral image by fusing it with an image ofContinue reading “Blind image fusion for hyperspectral imaging with the directional total variation”

Airborne laser scanning of natural forests in New Zealand reveals the influences of wind on forest carbon

Forests are a key component of the global carbon cycle, and research is needed into the effects of human-driven and natural processes on their carbon pools. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) produces detailed 3D maps of forest canopy structure from which aboveground carbon density can be estimated. Working with a ALS dataset collected over the 8049-km2 WellingtonContinue reading “Airborne laser scanning of natural forests in New Zealand reveals the influences of wind on forest carbon”

Enhancing of accuracy assessment for forest above-ground biomass estimates obtained from remote sensing via hypothesis testing and overfitting evaluation

The evaluation of accuracy is essential for assuring the reliability of ecological models. Usually, the accuracy of above-ground biomass (AGB) predictions obtained from remote sensing is assessed by the mean differences (MD), the root mean squared differences (RMSD), and the coefficient of determination (R2) between observed and predicted values. In this article we propose aContinue reading “Enhancing of accuracy assessment for forest above-ground biomass estimates obtained from remote sensing via hypothesis testing and overfitting evaluation”

We are a part of:

Dept of Plant Sciences Logo

About us:
We use high-resolution remote sensing to understand how forests are responding to global environmental changes.

Interested in what you see,
please feel free to contact us