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Current and future opportunities for satellite remote sensing to inform rewilding

Pettorelli, N; Schulte to Bühne, H; (2022) Current and future opportunities for satellite remote sensing to inform rewilding. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation 10.1002/rse2.321. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Rewilding has been suggested as an effective strategy for addressing environmental challenges such as the intertwined biodiversity and climate change crises, but there is little information to guide the monitoring of rewilding projects. Since rewilding focuses on enhancing ecosystem functionality, with no defined endpoint, monitoring strategies used in restoration are often inappropriate, as they typically focus on assessing species composition, or the ecological transition of an ecosystem towards a defined desired state. We here discuss how satellite remote sensing can provide an opportunity to address existing knowledge and data gaps in rewilding science. We first discuss how satellite remote sensing is currently being used to inform rewilding initiatives and highlight current barriers to the adoption of this type of technology by practitioners and scientists involved with rewilding. We then identify opportunities for satellite remote sensing to help address current knowledge gaps in rewilding, including gaining a better understanding of the role of animals in ecosystem functioning; improving the monitoring of landscape-scale connectivity; and assessing the impacts of rewilding on the conservation status of rewilded sites. Though significant barriers remain to the widespread use of satellite remote sensing to monitor rewilding projects, we argue that decisions on monitoring approaches and priorities need to be part of implementation plans from the start, involving both remote sensing experts and ecologists. Making use of the full potential of satellite remote sensing for rewilding ultimately requires integrating species and ecosystem perspectives at the monitoring, knowledge-producing and decision-making levels. Such an integration will require a change in know-how, necessitating increased inter-disciplinary interactions and collaborations, as well as conceptual shifts in communities and organizations traditionally involved in biodiversity conservation.

Type: Article
Title: Current and future opportunities for satellite remote sensing to inform rewilding
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/rse2.321
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/rse2.321
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Authors. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Zoological Society of London. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Keywords: Biodiversity monitoring, ecosystem function, rewilding, satellite remote sensing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10164040
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