Browsing by Subject "VEGETATION"

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  • Oksanen, Otto; Zliobaite, Indre; Saarinen, Juha; Lawing, A. Michelle; Fortelius, Mikael (2019)
    Aim The links between geo- and biodiversity, postulated by Humboldt, can now be made quantitative. Species are adapted to their environments and interact with their environments by having pertinent functional traits. We aim to improve global ecometric models using functional traits for estimating palaeoclimate and apply models to Pleistocene fauna for palaeoclimate interpretation. Location Global at present day, Pleistocene of Europe for fossil data analysis. Taxa Artiodactyla, Perissodactyla, Proboscidea and Primates. Methods We quantify functional traits of large mammal communities and develop statistical models linking trait distributions to local climate at present day. We apply these models to the fossil record, survey functional traits, and quantitatively estimate climates of the past. This approach to analysing functional relationships between faunal communities and their environments is called ecometrics. Results and main conclusions Here, we present new global ecometric models for estimating mean annual and minimum temperature from dental traits of present day mammalian communities. We also present refined models for predicting net primary productivity. Using dental ecometric models, we produce palaeoclimate estimates for 50 Pleistocene fossil localities in Europe and show that the estimates are consistent with trends derived from other proxies, especially for minimum temperatures, which we hypothesize to be ecologically limiting. Our new temperature models allow us to trace the distribution of freezing and non-freezing ecosystems in the recent past, opening new perspectives on the evolution of cold-adaptive biota as the Pleistocene cooling progressed.
  • Kuusinen, Nea; Juola, Jussi; Karki, Bijay; Stenroos, Soili; Rautiainen, Miina (2020)
    Lichens dominate a significant part of the Earth's land surface, and are valuable bioindicators of various environmental changes. In the northern hemisphere, the largest lichen biomass is in the woodlands and heathlands of the boreal zone and in tundra. Despite the global coverage of lichens, there has been only limited research on their spectral properties in the context of remote sensing of the environment. In this paper, we report spectral properties of 12 common boreal lichen species. Measurements of reflectance spectra were made in laboratory conditions with a standard spectrometer (350-2500 nm) and a novel mobile hyperspectral camera (400-1000 nm) which was used in a multiangular setting. Our results show that interspecific differences in reflectance spectra were the most pronounced in the ultraviolet and visible spectral range, and that dry samples always had higher reflectance than fresh (moist) samples in the shortwave infrared region. All study species had higher reflectance in the backward scattering direction compared to nadir or forward scattering directions. Our results also reveal, for the first time, that there is large intraspecific variation in reflectance of lichen species. This emphasizes the importance of measuring several replicates of each species when analyzing lichen spectra. In addition, we used the data in a spectral clustering analysis to study the spectral similarity between samples and species, and how these similarities could be linked to different physical traits or phylogenetic closeness of the species. Overall, our results suggest that spectra of some lichen species with large ground coverage can be used for species identification from high spatial resolution remote sensing imagery. On the other hand, for lichen species growing as small assemblages, mobile hyperspectral cameras may offer a solution for in-situ species identification. The spectral library collected in this study is available in the SPECCHIO Spectral Information System.
  • Amara, Edward; Adhikari, Hari; Heiskanen, Janne; Siljander, Mika; Munyao, Martha; Omondi, Patrick; Pellikka, Petri (2020)
    Savannahs provide valuable ecosystem services and contribute to continental and global carbon budgets. In addition, savannahs exhibit multiple land uses, e.g., wildlife conservation, pastoralism, and crop farming. Despite their importance, the effect of land use on woody aboveground biomass (AGB) in savannahs is understudied. Furthermore, fences used to reduce human-wildlife conflicts may affect AGB patterns. We assessed AGB densities and patterns, and the effect of land use and fences on AGB in a multi-use savannah landscape in southeastern Kenya. AGB was assessed with field survey and airborne laser scanning (ALS) data, and a land cover map was developed using Sentinel-2 satellite images in Google Earth Engine. The highest woody AGB was found in riverine forest in a conservation area and in bushland outside the conservation area. The highest mean AGB density occurred in the non-conservation area with mixed bushland and cropland (8.9 Mg center dot ha(-1)), while the lowest AGB density (2.6 Mg center dot ha(-1)) occurred in overgrazed grassland in the conservation area. The largest differences in AGB distributions were observed in the fenced boundaries between the conservation and other land-use types. Our results provide evidence that conservation and fences can create sharp AGB transitions and lead to reduced AGB stocks, which is a vital role of savannahs as part of carbon sequestration.
  • Korpela, Ilkka (2017)
    Forest inventories comprise observations, models and sampling. Airborne LiDAR has established its role in providing observations of canopy geometry and topography. These data are input for estimation of important forest properties to support forestry-related decision-making. A major deficiency in forest remote sensing is tree species identification. This study examines the option of using multi-footprint airborne LiDAR data. Features of such sensor design exist in recently introduced multispectral laser scanners. The first objective was to acquire radiometrically normalized, multi-footprint (11, 22, 44 and 59 cm) waveform (WF) data that characterize 1064nm backscatter reflectance on the interval scale. The second objective was to analyze and validate the data quality in order to draw the correct conclusions about the effect of footprint size on WFs from natural and man-made targets. The experiment was carried out in Finland. Footprint variation was generated by acquiring data at different flying heights and by adjusting the transmitted power. The LiDAR campaign was successful and the data were of sufficient quality, except for a 1 dB trend due to the atmosphere. Significant findings were made conceming the magnitude of atmospheric losses, the linearity of the amplitude scale and the bandwidth characteristics of the receiver, the stability of the transmitter, the precision of the amplitude data and the transmission losses in canopies and power lines, as well as the response of WF attributes to footprint size in forest canopies. Multi-footprint data are a promising approach although the tree species-specific signatures were weak. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Zhang-Turpeinen, Huizhong; Kivimaenpaa, Minna; Berninger, Frank; Koster, Kajar; Zhao, Peng; Zhou, Xuan; Pumpanen, Jukka (2021)
    The amplification of global warming in the Northern regions results in a higher probability of wildfires in boreal forests. On the forest floor, wildfires have long-term effects on vegetation composition as well as soil and its microbial communities. A large variety of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) such as isoprene, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes have been observed to be emitted from soil and understory vegetation of boreal forest floor. Ultimately, the fire-induced changes in the forest floor affect its BVOC fluxes, and the recovery of the forest floor determines the quantity and quality of BVOC fluxes. However, the effects of wildfires on forest floor BVOC fluxes are rarely studied. Here we conducted a study of the impacts of post-fire succession on forest floor BVOC fluxes along a 158-year fire chronosequence in boreal Scots pine stands near the northern timberline in north-eastern Finland throughout a growing season. We determined the forest floor BVOC fluxes and investigated how the environmental and ground vegetation characteristics, soil respiration rates, and soil microbial and fungal biomass are associated with the BVOC fluxes during the post-fire succession. The forest floor was a source of diverse BVOCs. Monoterpenes (MTs) were the largest group of emitted BVOCs. We observed forest age-related differences in the forest floor BVOC fluxes along the fire chronosequence. The forest floor BVOC fluxes decreased with the reduction in ground vegetation coverage resulted from wildfire, and the decreased fluxes were also connected to a decrease in microbial activity as a result of the loss of plant roots and soil organic matter. The increase in BVOC fluxes was associated with the recovery of aboveground plant coverage and soils. Our results suggested taking into consideration the implications of BVOC flux variations on the atmospheric chemistry and climate feedbacks.
  • Heinaro, Einari; Tanhuanpaa, Topi; Yrttimaa, Tuomas; Holopainen, Markus; Vastaranta, Mikko (2021)
    Fallen trees decompose on the forest floor and create habitats for many species. Thus, mapping fallen trees allows identifying the most valuable areas regarding biodiversity, especially in boreal forests, enabling well-focused conservation and restoration actions. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) is capable of characterizing forests and the underlying topography. However, its potential for detecting and characterizing fallen trees under varying boreal forest conditions is not yet well understood. ALS-based fallen tree detection methods could improve our understanding regarding the spatiotemporal characteristics of dead wood over large landscapes. We developed and tested an automatic method for mapping individual fallen trees from an ALS point cloud with a point density of 15 points/m2. The presented method detects fallen trees using iterative Hough line detection and delineates the trees around the detected lines using region growing. Furthermore, we conducted a detailed evaluation of how the performance of ALS-based fallen tree detection is impacted by characteristics of fallen trees and the structure of vegetation around them. The results of this study showed that large fallen trees can be detected with a high accuracy in old-growth forests. In contrast, the detection of fallen trees in young managed stands proved challenging. The presented method was able to detect 78% of the largest fallen trees (diameter at breast height, DBH > 300 mm), whereas 30% of all trees with a DBH over 100 mm were detected. The performance of the detection method was positively correlated with both the size of fallen trees and the size of living trees surrounding them. In contrast, the performance was negatively correlated with the amount of undergrowth, ground vegetation, and the state of decay of fallen trees. Especially undergrowth and ground vegetation impacted the performance negatively, as they covered some of the fallen trees and lead to false fallen tree detections. Based on the results of this study, ALS-based collection of fallen tree information should be focused on old-growth forests and mature managed forests, at least with the current operative point densities.
  • Yu, Xiaowei; Litkey, Paula; Hyyppa, Juha; Holopainen, Markus; Vastaranta, Mikko (2014)
  • Hurskainen, Pekka; Adhikari, Hari; Siljander, Mika; Pellikka, Petri; Hemp, Andreas (2019)
    Classifying land use/land cover (LULC) with sufficient accuracy in heterogeneous landscapes is challenging using only satellite imagery. To improve classification accuracy inclusion of features from auxiliary geospatial datasets in classification models is applied since 1980s. However, the method is mostly limited to pixel-based classifications, and the coverage, accuracy and resolution of free and open-access auxiliary datasets have been poor until recent years. We evaluated how recent global coverage open-access geospatial datasets improve object-based LULC classification accuracy compared to using only spectral and texture features from satellite images. We applied feature sets topography, population, soil, canopy cover, distance to watercourses and spectral-temporal metrics from Landsat-8 time series on the southern foothills and savanna of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, where the landscape is characterized by heterogeneous and fragmented mosaic of disturbed savanna vegetation, croplands, and settlements. The classification was based on image objects (groups of spectrally similar pixels) derived from segmentation of four Formosat-2 scenes with 8m spatial resolution using 1370 ground reference points for training, validation, and for defining 17 LULC classes. We built six Random Forest classification models with different sets of object features in each. The baseline model having only spectral and texture features was compared with five other models supplemented with auxiliary features. Inclusion of auxiliary features significantly improved classification overall accuracy (OA). The baseline model gave a median OA of 60.7%, but auxiliary features in other models increased median OA between 6.1 and 16.5 percentage points. The best OA was achieved with a model including all features of which elevation was the most important auxiliary feature followed by Enhanced Vegetation Index temporal range and slope degree. Applying object-based classification to geospatial information on topography, soil, settlement patterns and vegetation phenology, the discriminatory potential of challenging LULC classes can be significantly improved. We demonstrated this for the first time, and the technique shows good potential for improving LULC mapping across a multitude of fragmented landscapes worldwide.
  • Liu, Jinxiu; Heiskanen, Janne; Maeda, Eduardo Eiji; Pellikka, Petri K. E. (2018)
    West African savannas are subject to regular fires, which have impacts on vegetation structure, biodiversity and carbon balance. An efficient and accurate mapping of burned area associated with seasonal fires can greatly benefit decision making in land management. Since coarse resolution burned area products cannot meet the accuracy needed for fire management and climate modelling at local scales, the medium resolution Landsat data is a promising alternative for local scale studies. In this study, we developed an algorithm for continuous monitoring of annual burned areas using Landsat time series. The algorithm is based on burned pixel detection using harmonic model fitting with Landsat time series and breakpoint identification in the time series data. This approach was tested in a savanna area in southern Burkina Faso using 281 images acquired between October 2000 and April 2016. An overall accuracy of 79.2% was obtained with balanced omission and commission errors. This represents a significant improvement in comparison with MODIS burned area product (67.6%), which had more omission errors than commission errors, indicating underestimation of the total burned area. By observing the spatial distribution of burned areas, we found that the Landsat based method misclassified cropland and cloud shadows as burned areas due to the similar spectral response, and MODIS burned area product omitted small and fragmented burned areas. The proposed algorithm is flexible and robust against decreased data availability caused by clouds and Landsat 7 missing lines, therefore having a high potential for being applied in other landscapes in future studies.
  • Junttila, Samuli; Sugano, Junko; Vastaranta, Mikko; Linnakoski, Riikka; Kaartinen, Harri; Kukko, Antero; Holopainen, Markus; Hyyppa, Hannu; Hyyppa, Juha (2018)
    Changing climate is increasing the amount and intensity of forest stress agents, such as drought, pest insects, and pathogens. Leaf water content, measured here in terms of equivalent water thickness (EWT), is an early indicator of tree stress that provides timely information about the health status of forests. Multispectral terrestrial laser scanning (MS-TLS) measures target geometry and reflectance simultaneously, providing spatially explicit reflectance information at several wavelengths. EWT and leaf internal structure affect leaf reflectance in the shortwave infrared region that can be used to predict EWT with MS-TLS. A second wavelength that is sensitive to leaf internal structure but not affected by EWT can be used to normalize leaf internal effects on the shortwave infrared region and improve the prediction of EWT. Here we investigated the relationship between EWT and laser intensity features using multisensor MS-TLS at 690, 905, and 1,550 nm wavelengths with both drought-treated and Endoconidiophora polonica inoculated Norway spruce seedlings to better understand how MS-TLS measurements can explain variation in EWT. In our study, a normalized ratio of two wavelengths at 905 and 1,550 nm and length of seedling explained 91% of the variation (R-2) in EWT as the respective prediction accuracy for EWT was 0.003 g/cm(2) in greenhouse conditions. The relation between EWT and the normalized ratio of 905 and 1,550 nm wavelengths did not seem sensitive to a decreased point density of the MS-TLS data. Based on our results, different EWTs in Norway spruce seedlings show different spectral responses when measured using MS-TLS. These results can be further used when developing EWT monitoring for improving forest health assessments.
  • Schafstall, Nick; Whitehouse, Nicki; Kuosmanen, Niina; Svobodova-Svitavska, Helena; Saulnier, Melanie; Chiverrell, Richard C.; Fleischer, Peter; Kunes, Petr; Clear, Jennifer L. (2020)
    Montane biomes are niche environments high in biodiversity with a variety of habitats. Often isolated, these non-continuous remnant ecosystems inhabit narrow ecological zones putting them under threat from changing climatic conditions and anthropogenic pressure. Twelve sediment cores were retrieved from a peat bog in Tatra National Park, Slovakia, and correlated to each other by wiggle-matching geochemical signals derived from micro-XRF scanning, to make a reconstruction of past conditions. A fossil beetle (Coleoptera) record, covering the last 1000 years at 50- to 100-year resolution, gives a new insight into changing flora and fauna in this region. Our findings reveal a diverse beetle community with varied ecological groups inhabiting a range of forest, meadow and synanthropic habitats. Changes in the beetle community were related to changes in the landscape, driven by anthropogenic activities. The first clear evidence for human activity in the area occurs c. 1250 CE and coincides with the arrival of beetle species living on the dung of domesticated animals (e.g. Aphodius spp.). From 1500 CE, human (re)settlement, and activities such as pasturing and charcoal burning, appear to have had a pronounced effect on the beetle community. Local beetle diversity declined steadily towards the present day, likely due to an infilling of the forest hollow leading to a decrease in moisture level. We conclude that beetle communities are directly affected by anthropogenic intensity and land-use change. When aiming to preserve or restore natural forest conditions, recording their past changes in diversity can help guide conservation and restoration. In doing so, it is important to look back beyond the time of significant human impact, and for this, information contained in paleoecological records is irreplaceable.
  • Kokkonen, T. V.; Grimmond, C. S. B.; Christen, A.; Oke, T. R.; Järvi, L. (2018)
    Hydrological cycles of two suburban neighborhoods in Vancouver, BC, during initial urban development and subsequent urban densification (1920-2010) are examined using the Surface Urban Energy and Water Balance Scheme. The two neighborhoods have different surface characteristics (as determined from aerial photographs) which impact the hydrological processes. Unlike previous studies of the effect of urbanization on the local hydrology, densification of already built lots is explored with a focus on the neighborhood scale. Human behavioral changes to irrigation are accounted for in the simulations. Irrigation is the dominant factor, accounting for up to 56% of the water input on an annual basis in the study areas. This may surpass garden needs and go to runoff. Irrigating once a week would provide sufficient water for the garden. Without irrigation, evaporation would have decreased over the 91years at a rate of up to 1.4mm/year and runoff increased at 4.0mm/year with the increase in impervious cover. Similarly without irrigation, the ratio of sensible heat flux to the available energy would have increased over the 91years at a rate of up to 0.003 per year. Urbanization and densification cause an increase in runoff and increase risk of surface flooding. Small daily runoff events with short return periods have increased over the century, whereas the occurrence of heavy daily runoff events (return period>52 days) are not affected. The results can help us to understand the dominant factors in the suburban hydrological cycle and can inform urban planning.
  • Sabater, Neus; Vicent, Jorge; Alonso, Luis; Verrelst, Jochem; Middleton, Elizabeth M.; Porcar-Castell, Albert; Moreno, José (2018)
    Estimates of Sun–Induced vegetation chlorophyll Fluorescence (SIF) using remote sensing techniques are commonly determined by exploiting solar and/or telluric absorption features. When SIF is retrieved in the strong oxygen (O 2 ) absorption features, atmospheric effects must always be compensated. Whereas correction of atmospheric effects is a standard airborne or satellite data processing step, there is no consensus regarding whether it is required for SIF proximal–sensing measurements nor what is the best strategy to be followed. Thus, by using simulated data, this work provides a comprehensive analysis about how atmospheric effects impact SIF estimations on proximal sensing, regarding: (1) the sensor height above the vegetated canopy; (2) the SIF retrieval technique used, e.g., Fraunhofer Line Discriminator (FLD) family or Spectral Fitting Methods (SFM); and (3) the instrument’s spectral resolution. We demonstrate that for proximal–sensing scenarios compensating for atmospheric effects by simply introducing the O 2 transmittance function into the FLD or SFM formulations improves SIF estimations. However, these simplistic corrections still lead to inaccurate SIF estimations due to the multiplication of spectrally convolved atmospheric transfer functions with absorption features. Consequently, a more rigorous oxygen compensation strategy is proposed and assessed by following a classic airborne atmospheric correction scheme adapted to proximal sensing. This approach allows compensating for the O 2 absorption effects and, at the same time, convolving the high spectral resolution data according to the corresponding Instrumental Spectral Response Function (ISRF) through the use of an atmospheric radiative transfer model. Finally, due to the key role of O 2 absorption on the evaluated proximal–sensing SIF retrieval strategies, its dependency on surface pressure (p) and air temperature (T) was also assessed. As an example, we combined simulated spectral data with p and T measurements obtained for a one–year period in the Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station in Finland. Of importance hereby is that seasonal dynamics in terms of T and p, if not appropriately considered as part of the retrieval strategy, can result in erroneous SIF seasonal trends that mimic those of known dynamics for temperature–dependent physiological responses of vegetation.
  • Kuzmin, Anton; Korhonen, Lauri; Kivinen, Sonja; Hurskainen, Pekka; Korpelainen, Pasi; Tanhuanpää, Topi; Maltamo, Matti; Vihervaara, Petteri; Kumpula, Timo (2021)
    European aspen (Populus tremula L.) is a keystone species for biodiversity of boreal forests.Large-diameter aspens maintain the diversity of hundreds of species, many of which are threatened in Fennoscandia. Due to a low economic value and relatively sparse and scattered occurrence of aspen in boreal forests, there is a lack of information of the spatial and temporal distribution of aspen, which hampers efficient planning and implementation of sustainable forest management practices and conservation efforts. Our objective was to assess identification of European aspen at the individual tree level in a southern boreal forest using high-resolution photogrammetric point cloud (PPC) and multispectral (MSP) orthomosaics acquired with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The structure-from-motion approach was applied to generate RGB imagery-based PPC to be used for individual tree-crown delineation. Multispectral data were collected using two UAV cameras:Parrot Sequoia and MicaSense RedEdge-M. Tree-crown outlines were obtained from watershed segmentation of PPC data and intersected with multispectral mosaics to extract and calculate spectral metrics for individual trees. We assessed the role of spectral data features extracted from PPC and multispectral mosaics and a combination of it, using a machine learning classifier—Support Vector Machine (SVM) to perform two different classifications: discrimination of aspen from the other species combined into one class and classification of all four species (aspen, birch, pine, spruce) simultaneously. In the first scenario, the highest classification accuracy of 84% (F1-score) for aspen and overall accuracy of 90.1% was achieved using only RGB features from PPC, whereas in the second scenario, the highest classification accuracy of 86 % (F1-score) for aspen and overall accuracy of 83.3% was achieved using the combination of RGB and MSP features. The proposed method provides a new possibility for the rapid assessment of aspen occurrence to enable more efficient forest management as well as contribute to biodiversity monitoring and conservation efforts in boreal forests.
  • Hurkuck, Miriam; Bruemmer, Christian; Mohr, Karsten; Spott, Oliver; Well, Reinhard; Flessa, Heinz; Kutsch, Werner L. (2015)
    We applied a N-15 dilution technique called Integrated Total Nitrogen Input (ITNI) to quantify annual atmospheric N input into a peatland surrounded by intensive agricultural practices over a 2-year period. Grass species and grass growth effects on atmospheric N deposition were investigated using Lolium multiflorum and Eriophorum vaginatum and different levels of added N resulting in increased biomass production. Plant biomass production was positively correlated with atmospheric N uptake (up to 102.7mg N pot(-1)) when using Lolium multiflorum. In contrast, atmospheric N deposition to Eriophorum vaginatum did not show a clear dependency to produced biomass and ranged from 81.9 to 138.2mgNpot(-1). Both species revealed a relationship between atmospheric N input and total biomass N contents. Airborne N deposition varied from about 24 to 55kgNha(-1)yr(-1). Partitioning of airborne N within the monitor system differed such that most of the deposited N was found in roots of Eriophorum vaginatum while the highest share was allocated in aboveground biomass of Lolium multiflorum. Compared to other approaches determining atmospheric N deposition, ITNI showed highest airborne N input and an up to fivefold exceedance of the ecosystem-specific critical load of 5-10kgNha(-1)yr(-1).
  • Maeda, Eduardo Eiji; Ma, Xuanlong; Wagner, Fabien Hubert; Kim, Hyungjun; Oki, Taikan; Eamus, Derek; Huete, Alfredo (2017)
    Evapotranspiration (ET) of Amazon forests is a main driver of regional climate patterns and an important indicator of ecosystem functioning. Despite its importance, the seasonal variability of ET over Amazon forests, and its relationship with environmental drivers, is still poorly understood. In this study, we carry out a water balance approach to analyse seasonal patterns in ET and their relationships with water and energy drivers over five sub-basins across the Amazon Basin. We used in situ measurements of river discharge, and remotely sensed estimates of terrestrial water storage, rainfall, and solar radiation. We show that the characteristics of ET seasonality in all sub-basins differ in timing and magnitude. The highest mean annual ET was found in the northern Rio Negro basin (similar to 1497 mm year(-1)) and the lowest values in the Solimoes River basin (similar to 986 mm year(-1)). For the first time in a basin-scale study, using observational data, we show that factors limiting ET vary across climatic gradients in the Amazon, confirming local-scale eddy covariance studies. Both annual mean and seasonality in ET are driven by a combination of energy and water availability, as neither rainfall nor radiation alone could explain patterns in ET. In southern basins, despite seasonal rainfall deficits, deep root water uptake allows increasing rates of ET during the dry season, when radiation is usually higher than in the wet season. We demonstrate contrasting ET seasonality with satellite greenness across Amazon forests, with strong asynchronous relationships in ever-wet watersheds, and positive correlations observed in seasonally dry watersheds. Finally, we compared our results with estimates obtained by two ET models, and we conclude that neither of the two tested models could provide a consistent representation of ET seasonal patterns across the Amazon.
  • Korpela, Ilkka; Haapanen, R.; Korrensalo, A.; Tuittila, E-S; Vesala, T. (2020)
    Boreal bogs are important stores and sinks of atmospheric carbon whose surfaces are characterised by vegetation microforms. Efficient methods for monitoring their vegetation are needed because changes in vegetation composition lead to alteration in their function such as carbon gas exchange with the atmosphere. We investigated how airborne image and waveform-recording LiDAR data can be used for 3D mapping of microforms in an open bog which is a mosaic of pools, hummocks with a few stunted pines, hollows, intermediate surfaces and mud-bottom hollows. The proposed method operates on the bog surface, which is reconstructed using LiDAR. The vegetation was classified at 20 cm resolution. We hypothesised that LiDAR data describe surface topography, moisture and the presence and depth of field-layer vegetation and surface roughness; while multiple images capture the colours and texture of the vegetation, which are influenced by directional reflectance effects. We conclude that geometric LiDAR features are efficient predictors of microforms. LiDAR intensity and echo width were specific to moisture and surface roughness, respectively. Directional reflectance constituted 4-34 % of the variance in images and its form was linked to the presence of the field layer. Microform-specific directional reflectance patterns were deemed to be of marginal value in enhancing the classification, and RGB image features were inferior to LiDAR variables. Sensor fusion is an attractive option for fine-scale mapping of these habitats. We discuss the task and propose options for improving the methodology.
  • Tiusanen, Mikko; Huotari, Tea; Hebert, Paul D. N.; Andersson, Tommi; Asmus, Ashley; Bety, Joel; Davis, Emma; Gale, Jennifer; Hardwick, Bess; Hik, David; Körner, Christian; Lanctot, Richard B.; Loonen, Maarten J. J. E.; Partanen, Rauni; Reischke, Karissa; Saalfeld, Sarah T.; Senez-Gagnon, Fanny; Smith, Paul A.; Sulavik, Jan; Syvanpera, Ilkka; Urbanowicz, Christine; Williams, Sian; Woodard, Paul; Zaika, Yulia; Roslin, Tomas (2019)
    Pollination is an ecosystem function of global importance. Yet, who visits the flower of specific plants, how the composition of these visitors varies in space and time and how such variation translates into pollination services are hard to establish. The use of DNA barcodes allows us to address ecological patterns involving thousands of taxa that are difficult to identify. To clarify the regional variation in the visitor community of a widespread flower resource, we compared the composition of the arthropod community visiting species in the genus Dryas (mountain avens, family Rosaceae), throughout Arctic and high-alpine areas. At each of 15 sites, we sampled Dryas visitors with 100 sticky flower mimics and identified specimens to Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) using a partial sequence of the mitochondrial COI gene. As a measure of ecosystem functioning, we quantified variation in the seed set of Dryas. To test for an association between phylogenetic and functional diversity, we characterized the structure of local visitor communities with both taxonomic and phylogenetic descriptors. In total, we detected 1,360 different BINs, dominated by Diptera and Hymenoptera. The richness of visitors at each site appeared to be driven by local temperature and precipitation. Phylogeographic structure seemed reflective of geological history and mirrored trans-Arctic patterns detected in plants. Seed set success varied widely among sites, with little variation attributable to pollinator species richness. This pattern suggests idiosyncratic associations, with function dominated by few and potentially different taxa at each site. Taken together, our findings illustrate the role of post-glacial history in the assembly of flower-visitor communities in the Arctic and offer insights for understanding how diversity translates into ecosystem functioning.
  • Kiheri, Heikki; Velmala, Sannakajsa; Pennanen, Taina; Timonen, Sari; Sietiö, Outi-Maaria; Fritze, Hannu; Heinonsalo, Jussi; van Dijk, Netty; Dise, Nancy; Larmola, Tuula (2020)
    Northern peatlands are often dominated by ericaceous shrub species which rely on ericoid mycorrhizal fungi (ERM) for access to organic sources of nutrients, such as nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), and host abundant dark septate endophytes (DSE). Relationships between hosts and fungal symbionts may change during deposition of anthropogenic N and P. We studied the long-term effects of N and P addition on two ericaceous shrubs, Calluna vulgaris and Erica tetralix, at Whim Bog, Scotland by analyzing fungal colonization of roots, enzymatic activity, and fungal species composition. Unexpectedly, the frequency of typical ERM intracellular colonization did not change while the occurrence of ERM hyphae tended to increase and DSE hyphae to decrease. Our findings indicate that altered nutrient limitations shift root associated fungal colonization patterns as well as affecting ericaceous root enzyme activity and thereby decomposition potential. Reduction of recalcitrant fungal biomass in melanized DSE may have implications for peatland C sequestration under nutrient addition.
  • Borges, Paulo A. V.; Cardoso, Pedro; Kreft, Holger; Whittaker, Robert J.; Fattorini, Simone; Emerson, Brent C.; Gil, Artur; Gillespie, Rosemary G.; Matthews, Thomas J.; Santos, Ana M. C.; Steinbauer, Manuel J.; Thebaud, Christophe; Ah-Peng, Claudine; Amorim, Isabel R.; Aranda, Silvia Calvo; Arroz, Ana Moura; Azevedo, Jose Manuel N.; Boieiro, Mario; Borda-de-Agua, Luis; Carvalho, Jose Carlos; Elias, Rui B.; Fernandez-Palacios, Jose Maria; Florencio, Margarita; Gonzalez-Mancebo, Juana M.; Heaney, Lawrence R.; Hortal, Joaquin; Kueffer, Christoph; Lequette, Benoit; Martin-Esquivel, Jose Luis; Lopez, Heriberto; Lamelas-Lopez, Lucas; Marcelino, Jose; Nunes, Rui; Oromi, Pedro; Patino, Jairo; Perez, Antonio J.; Rego, Carla; Ribeiro, Servio P.; Rigal, Francois; Rodrigues, Pedro; Rominger, Andrew J.; Santos-Reis, Margarida; Schaefer, Hanno; Sergio, Cecilia; Serrano, Artur R. M.; Sim-Sim, Manuela; Stephenson, P. J.; Soares, Antonio O.; Strasberg, Dominique; Vanderporten, Alain; Vieira, Virgilio; Gabriel, Rosalina (2018)
    Islands harbour evolutionary and ecologically unique biota, which are currently disproportionately threatened by a multitude of anthropogenic factors, including habitat loss, invasive species and climate change. Native forests on oceanic islands are important refugia for endemic species, many of which are rare and highly threatened. Long-term monitoring schemes for those biota and ecosystems are urgently needed: (i) to provide quantitative baselines for detecting changes within island ecosystems, (ii) to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation and management actions, and (iii) to identify general ecological patterns and processes using multiple island systems as repeated 'natural experiments'. In this contribution, we call for a Global Island Monitoring Scheme (GIMS) for monitoring the remaining native island forests, using bryophytes, vascular plants, selected groups of arthropods and vertebrates as model taxa. As a basis for the GIMS, we also present new, optimized monitoring protocols for bryophytes and arthropods that were developed based on former standardized inventory protocols. Effective inventorying and monitoring of native island forests will require: (i) permanent plots covering diverse ecological gradients (e.g. elevation, age of terrain, anthropogenic disturbance); (ii) a multiple-taxa approach that is based on standardized and replicable protocols; (iii) a common set of indicator taxa and community properties that are indicative of native island forests' welfare, building on, and harmonized with existing sampling and monitoring efforts; (iv) capacity building and training of local researchers, collaboration and continuous dialogue with local stakeholders; and (v) long-term commitment by funding agencies to maintain a global network of native island forest monitoring plots.