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Satellite remote sensing of ecosystem functions: opportunities, challenges and way forward

Pettorelli, Nathalie; Schulte to B�hne, Henrike; Tulloch, Ayesha; Dubois, Gr�goire; Macinnis-Ng, Cate; Queir�s, Ana M.; Keith, David A.; Wegmann, Martin; Schrodt, Franziska; Stellmes, Marion; Sonnenschein, Ruth; Geller, Gary N.; Roy, Shovonlal; Somers, Ben; Murray, Nicholas; Bland, Lucie; Geijzendorffer, Ilse; Kerr, Jeremy T.; Broszeit, Stefanie; Leit�o, Pedro J.; Duncan, Clare; El Serafy, Ghada; He, Kate S.; Blanchard, Julia L.; Lucas, Richard; Mairota, Paola; Webb, Thomas J.; Nicholson, Emily


Nathalie Pettorelli

Henrike Schulte to B�hne

Ayesha Tulloch

Gr�goire Dubois

Cate Macinnis-Ng

Ana M. Queir�s

David A. Keith

Martin Wegmann

Marion Stellmes

Ruth Sonnenschein

Gary N. Geller

Shovonlal Roy

Ben Somers

Nicholas Murray

Lucie Bland

Ilse Geijzendorffer

Jeremy T. Kerr

Stefanie Broszeit

Pedro J. Leit�o

Clare Duncan

Ghada El Serafy

Kate S. He

Julia L. Blanchard

Richard Lucas

Paola Mairota

Thomas J. Webb

Emily Nicholson


Marcus Rowcliffe

Mat Disney


Societal, economic and scientific interests in knowing where biodiversity is, how it is faring and what can be done to efficiently mitigate further biodiversity loss and the associated loss of ecosystem services are at an all?time high. So far, however, biodiversity monitoring has primarily focused on structural and compositional features of ecosystems despite growing evidence that ecosystem functions are key to elucidating the mechanisms through which biological diversity generates services to humanity. This monitoring gap can be traced to the current lack of consensus on what exactly ecosystem functions are and how to track them at scales beyond the site level. This contribution aims to advance the development of a global biodiversity monitoring strategy by proposing the adoption of a set of definitions and a typology for ecosystem functions, and reviewing current opportunities and potential limitations for satellite remote sensing technology to support the monitoring of ecosystem functions worldwide. By clearly defining ecosystem processes, functions and services and their interrelationships, we provide a framework to improve communication between ecologists, land and marine managers, remote sensing specialists and policy makers, thereby addressing a major barrier in the field.


Pettorelli, N., Schulte to Bühne, H., Tulloch, A., Dubois, G., Macinnis-Ng, C., Queirós, A. M., …Nicholson, E. (2018). Satellite remote sensing of ecosystem functions: opportunities, challenges and way forward. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, 4(2), 71-93.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 23, 2017
Online Publication Date Aug 10, 2017
Publication Date 2018-06
Deposit Date Dec 14, 2018
Publicly Available Date Dec 20, 2018
Journal Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 2
Pages 71-93
Public URL
Publisher URL


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