Integrating indicators of land-use intensity i landscape ecology using remote sensing
Loss of biodiversity is largely driven by increased landscape simplification and increased land-use intensity in production landscapes. Although both drivers of biodiversity loss are conceptually well-known, there is a general lack of tools to describe land-use intensity at spatial scales relevant to determinants of biodiversity, in particular regarding mobile organisms utilising multiple habitats across landscapes.
Possibilities to develop indicators of land-use intensity on relevant spatial scales have constantly improved in terms of grain accuracy, exemplified by the recently launched Sentinel-2 satellites for high-resolution remote sensing. While these methods now have the potential to revolutionise research in landscape ecology, remote sensing methods have been underutilised because of lack of communication between researchers in landscape ecology and remote sensing (Pettorelli et al. 2014). This project will bridge this gap by identifying ecologically relevant indicators of land-use intensity based on cutting-edge methods in remote sensing and other GIS sources to analyse responses in biotic communities.
Apart from (1) fostering collaboration between ecology and physical geography and significantly advancing research in landscape ecology, we will (2) synthesise the literature on consequences of increasing land-use intensity on biodiversity, with a particular focus on the pros and cons of different ways to measure land-use intensity, and (3) facilitate the development of a tool integrating various sources of land-cover and land-use intensity with the intention to benefit future research in landscape ecology and related disciplines in BECC.