Ecosystem health & biodiversity

CALMIT research Ecosystem health & biodiversity

CALMIT's Hercules, a mobile platform for proximal remote sensing

CALMIT deploys a combination of imaging spectrometry, imaging fluorometry, and thermal imaging to monitor photosynthesis, ecosystem health, vegetation stress, and biodiversity.  The video below illustrates how remote sensing is being used to assess these topics – both elsewhere and at UNL. 

Research questions:

Can remote sensing assess species richness?

  • Yes, remote sensing can assess biodiversity through optical diversity.

Why does quantifying species richness and biodiversity matter?

  • Species richness generally promotes ecosystem productivity and resilience.

  • Remote sensing offers new, objective ways of assessing productivity and biodiversity.

CALMIT researchers study new ways of understanding vegetation productivity and diversity using remote sensing, allowing us to evaluate ecosystem health over large areas.

Video: Assessing productivity and biodiversity with remote sensing

Representative papers:

  • Gamon JA, Huemmrich KF, *Wong CYS, Ensminger I, Garrity S, Hollinger DY, Noormets A, Peñuelas J (2016) A remotely sensed pigment index reveals photosynthetic phenology in evergreen conifers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi:10.1073/pnas.1606162113

  • Wang R, Gamon JA, *Emmerton CE, Hitao L., *Nestola E., Pastorello G, *Menzer O (2016). Integrated analysis of productivity and biodiversity in a Southern Alberta prairie. Remote Sensing. 8:214, doi:10.3390/rs8030214. 

  • Gitelson A, Gamon JA (2015) The need for a common basis for defining light-use efficiency: implications for productivity estimation. Remote Sensing of Environment 156:196-201.


  • SpecNet
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Alberta
  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

More info:

Dr. John Gamon's Lab Website

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