Navigation Links
Scientists use lasers to measure changes to tropical forests

HILO, Hawaii January 23, 2009New technology deployed on airplanes is helping scientists quantify landscape-scale changes occurring to Big Island tropical forests from non-native plants and other environmental factors that affect carbon sequestration.

U.S. Forest Service and Carnegie Institution scientists involved in the research published their findings this month in the journal Ecosystems and hope it will help other researchers racing to assess threats to tropical forests around the world.

"Our results clearly show the interactive role that climate and invasive species play on carbon stocks in tropical forests, and this may prove useful in projecting future changes in carbon sequestration in Hawaii and beyond," said Gregory Asner, with the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology.

Airborne technology might be the best way to quickly examine rugged ecosystems covered with dense vegetation that make them difficult to study on the ground or with satellites, according to the scientists.

"These findings showed airborne data correlated with data derived from study plots on the ground," said Flint Hughes, a Forest Service ecologist at the agency's Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry and one of the study's authors. "They also demonstrated what might be the most important environmental factors affecting forest biomass and carbon sequestration."

Hughes and his colleagues compared field measurements with data derived from the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (, a system that uses a combination of lasers capable of measuring elevation to within six inches, GPS and advanced imaging spectrometers that can identify plant species from aircraft.

The scientists placed the equipment on an airplane that flew over the northeast flank of the Mauna Kea Volcano and the Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forest, which the National Science Foundation has designated a National Ecological Observatory Network candidate site.

They then compared the information to field observations that included tree diameter, canopy height and wood density estimates. Their findings not only demonstrated the effectiveness of airborne observations, but also offered a landscape-scale view of how alien invasive plants like strawberry guava might affect biomass levels in the context of carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation.

Study results suggest fast-growing invaders decrease biomass levels, while slower-growing species increase biomass stocks.


Contact: Roland Giller
US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station

Related biology news :

1. Scientists unlock possible aging secret in genetically altered fruit fly
2. Jefferson scientists discover a key protein regulator of inflammation and cell death
3. MUHC and McGill scientists explain genetic disease first discovered in Quebec 24 years ago
4. Scientists uncover evolutionary keys to common birth disorders
5. Invasive plants challenge scientists in face of environmental change
6. Key to future medical breakthroughs is systems biology, say leading European scientists
7. Scripps scientists develop first examples of RNA that replicates itself indefinitely
8. Florida professor creates endowment for insect scientists
9. NYU scientists discover dangerous new method for bacterial toxin transfer
10. Scientists can now differentiate between healthy cells and cancer cells
11. Scientists make strides toward defining genetic signature of Alzheimers disease
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/9/2015)... JOSE, Calif. , Nov. 9, 2015  Synaptics ... human interface solutions, today announced broader entry into the ... vehicle-specific solutions that match the pace of consumer electronics ... and biometric sensors are ideal for the automotive industry ... vehicle. Europe , ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based ... clinical research, is pleased to announce that it has ... as one of only three finalists for a ... and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... technology innovation and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon Genomics, ... for U.S. distribution of its DNA library preparation ... and Rubicon,s new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq ... the preparation of NGS libraries for liquid biopsies--the ... diagnostic and prognostic applications in cancer and other ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Zenith Epigenetics Corp. ("Zenith" or the "Company") ... Wong to its Board of Directors to replace Dr. ... a wealth of experience as co-founder of Resverlogix, with expertise ... --> --> Dr. Wong remarked, "I ... directors. Zenith,s long standing expertise in epigenetics and the advanced ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015 Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI), the ... acquired Cypher Genomics, Inc., a leading genome informatics company ... software solutions. The San Diego -based ... Cypher CEO and Co-founder, Ashley Van Zeeland , Ph.D., ...  Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Ill. , Nov. 30, 2015  AbbVie, is ... program that focuses on a daily routine for managing ... take their medication can affect the way the body ... follow to their a daily routine are important. The ... to help patients better manage their hypothyroidism by establishing ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... and PETACH TIKVAH, Israel , Nov. 30, ... BCLI ), a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies ... Cell Therapeutics Ltd., has been awarded an additional grant of ... the Chief Scientist (OCS). This grant, the second this year, ... activities to approximately $1.8 million (approximately NIS7 million).  ...
Breaking Biology Technology: