Bringing an ecological view of change to Landsat-based remote sensing

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
By: , and 

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Abstract

When characterizing the processes that shape ecosystems, ecologists increasingly use the unique perspective offered by repeat observations of remotely sensed imagery. However, the concept of change embodied in much of the traditional remote-sensing literature was primarily limited to capturing large or extreme changes occurring in natural systems, omitting many more subtle processes of interest to ecologists. Recent technical advances have led to a fundamental shift toward an ecological view of change. Although this conceptual shift began with coarser-scale global imagery, it has now reached users of Landsat imagery, since these datasets have temporal and spatial characteristics appropriate to many ecological questions. We argue that this ecologically relevant perspective of change allows the novel characterization of important dynamic processes, including disturbances, long-term trends, cyclical functions, and feedbacks, and that these improvements are already facilitating our understanding of critical driving forces, such as climate change, ecological interactions, and economic pressures.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Bringing an ecological view of change to Landsat-based remote sensing
Series title Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
DOI 10.1890/130066
Volume 12
Issue 6
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 8 p.
First page 339
Last page 346