Dr. Andrew Davies, Harvard University – 13 April 2021

Quantifying landscape scale animal impacts on ecosystem processes

ABSTRACT

Animals affect ecosystems in complex and profound ways, but understanding how observed effects scale up to influence ecosystem processes across landscapes has been historically limited and challenging to achieve. The advent and recent advances of remote sensing techniques, such as Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and hyperspectral imagery, have enabled accurate measurement of multiple ecosystem attributes at high resolution, and, when coupled with geospatial data on environmental features and/or animal distributions, can enable new insights into animal-landscape interactions. Drawing on examples from animal groups ranging from termites to elephants, I will demonstrate the utility of these remote sensing tools to animal ecology, and highlight new insights into how animals influence ecosystem processes across changing landscapes that would have been difficult or impossible to extract from field-based studies alone. I will conclude with discussion of how such advances benefit ecosystem management and conservation planning.

Nature of Life seminars

Date       :   13 March 2021

Time       :   15.45 hours

Location:   Online