New Publication: Potential of Airborne LiDAR Derived Vegetation Structure for the Prediction of Animal Species Richness at Mount Kilimanjaro

New Publication: Potential of Airborne LiDAR Derived Vegetation Structure for the Prediction of Animal Species Richness at Mount Kilimanjaro

February 15, 2022

We are glad to share with you our newest publication on “Potential of Airborne LiDAR Derived Vegetation Structure for the Prediction of Animal Species Richness at Mount Kilimanjaro ” in the open-access journal Remote Sensing by MDPI.

From the abstract: The monitoring of species and functional diversity is of increasing relevance for the development of strategies for the conservation and management of biodiversity. Therefore, reliable estimates of the performance of monitoring techniques across taxa become important. Using a unique dataset, this study investigates the potential of airborne LiDAR-derived variables characterizing vegetation structure as predictors for animal species richness at the southern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. To disentangle the structural LiDAR information from co-factors related to elevational vegetation zones, LiDAR-based models were compared to the predictive power of elevation models. 17 taxa and 4 feeding guilds were modeled and the standardized study design allowed for a comparison across the assemblages. Results show that most taxa (14) and feeding guilds (3) can be predicted best by elevation with normalized RMSE values but only for three of those taxa and two of those feeding guilds the difference to other models is significant. Generally, modeling performances between different models vary only slightly for each assemblage. For the remaining, structural information at most showed little additional contribution to the performance. In summary, LiDAR observations can be used for animal species prediction. However, the effort and cost of aerial surveys are not always in proportion with the prediction quality, especially when the species distribution follows zonal patterns, and elevation information yields similar results.

Full article: Ziegler A, Meyer H, Otte I, Peters MK, Appelhans T, Behler C, Böhning-Gaese K, Classen A, Detsch F, Deckert J, Eardley CD, Ferger SW, Fischer M, Gebert F, Haas M, Helbig-Bonitz M, Hemp A, Hemp C, Kakengi V, Mayr AV, Ngereza C, Reudenbach C, Röder J, Rutten G, Schellenberger Costa D, Schleuning M, Ssymank A, Steffan-Dewenter I, Tardanico J, Tschapka M, Vollstädt MGR, Wöllauer S, Zhang J, Brandl R, Nauss T. Potential of Airborne LiDAR Derived Vegetation Structure for the Prediction of Animal Species Richness at Mount Kilimanjaro. Remote Sensing. 2022; 14(3):786. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14030786

you may also like:

RIESGOS project completion

RIESGOS project completion

Today, the six-year international project RIESGOS, led by DLR-DFD, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) came to a successful completion. Dr. Elisabeth Schoepfer from DLR-DFD – one of our guest lecturers here at EORC – led this...

Experiencing rural Würzburg – NetCDA on a cultural exchange

Experiencing rural Würzburg – NetCDA on a cultural exchange

This week we went with our guest graduate students from West Africa on a small trip to some rural areas of Würzburg. Cultural exchange is an important component for our students – for some students it is their first visit to Germany, often also to Europe. Thus,...

Kickoff Meeting of the FluBig Project

Kickoff Meeting of the FluBig Project

On Tuesday, 27th of February, the kickoff meeting of the DFG funded projected FluBig took place at the EORC in Würzburg. Jointly with colleagues from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and Earth Observation Research...

University press covered our high alpine activity

University press covered our high alpine activity

The university press featured our activity in the Alps on the research station "Schneefernerhaus" close to Zugspitze. Together with other research groups of our university we aim to conduct various field data acquisitions e.g. in collaboration with the biology...

High alpine and snow training

High alpine and snow training

In collaboration with the German Alpine Club (DAV), Laura, one of our EAGLE students and Clara, a student assistant at our institute, recently participated in avalanche rescue training aimed at equipping individuals with essential skills and knowledge to respond...