Studying Changes in Biodiversity Using Aircraft


In a recent paper, researchers led by the University of Minnesota describe a method of measuring changes in biodiversity by using spectral images taken from an aircraft. The paper was published in the journal Natural Ecology & Evolution: Remote spectral detection of biodiversity effects on forest biomass. An article about this paper appears as a Research Brief on the U of M news website: Sunlight and aircraft help scientists asses how the diversity of life affects ecosystems.

MSI PIs Jeannine Cavender-Bares (professor, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior) and Peter Reich (Regents Professor, Forest Resources) are co-authors on the paper. Professor Cavendar-Bares is the director of the newly formed Biology Integration Institute (BII); Regents Professor Reich is a co-director. Several other MSI PIs are members of the BII. Professor Cavender-Bares uses MSI for some aspects of her research into linking spectral reflectance data to their functional traits in an evolutionary context. Regents Professor Reich is developing global land computational models that use plant functional traits.