Remote Sensing Methods for the Biophysical Characterization of Protected Areas Globally: Challenges and Opportunities

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Martinez-Lopez, J., Bertzky, B., Willcock, S., Robuchon, M., Almagro, M., Delli, G. and Dubois, G. 2021. Remote Sensing Methods for the Biophysical Characterization of Protected Areas Globally: Challenges and Opportunities. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 10 (6), p. 384. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi10060384

AuthorsMartinez-Lopez, J., Bertzky, B., Willcock, S., Robuchon, M., Almagro, M., Delli, G. and Dubois, G.
Abstract

Protected areas (PAs) are a key strategy to reverse global biodiversity declines, but they are under increasing pressure from anthropogenic activities and concomitant effects. Thus, the heterogeneous landscapes within PAs, containing a number of different habitats and ecosystem types, are in various degrees of disturbance. Characterizing habitats and ecosystems within the global protected area network requires large-scale monitoring over long time scales. This study reviews methods for the biophysical characterization of terrestrial PAs at a global scale by means of remote sensing (RS) and provides further recommendations. To this end, we first discuss the importance of taking into account the structural and functional attributes, as well as integrating a broad spectrum of variables, to account for the different ecosystem and habitat types within PAs, considering examples at local and regional scales. We then discuss potential variables, challenges and limitations of existing global environmental stratifications, as well as the biophysical characterization of PAs, and finally offer some recommendations. Computational and interoperability issues are also discussed, as well as the potential of cloud-based platforms linked to earth observations to support large-scale characterization of PAs. Using RS to characterize PAs globally is a crucial approach to help ensure sustainable development, but it requires further work before such studies are able to inform large-scale conservation actions. This study proposes 14 recommendations in order to improve existing initiatives to biophysically characterize PAs at a global scale.

KeywordsProtected areas; Remote senesing; Biophysical characterization
Year of Publication2021
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Journal citation10 (6), p. 384
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi10060384
Web address (URL)https://www.mdpi.com/2220-9964/10/6/384
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online04 Jun 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted28 May 2021
PublisherMDPI
ISSN2220-9964

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