Bayreuth researcher in Brussels: "Spaced" reveals potential of Earth observation for nature conservation
University of Bayreuth, Press Release No. 002/2018, 4 January 2018
In Brussels, Members of the European Parliament will get a glimpse of the latest scientific insights into the development of ecosystems: "Spaced", an exhibition and presentation of research findings by "Ecopotential", will get under way on 8 January. Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein of the Bayreuth Centre of Ecology & Environmental Research (BayCEER) at the University of Bayreuth plays a significant role in coordinating this EU project involving 47 research institutions from all around Europe.
Illustration showing the decrease in vegetation performance on the island of La Palma from July to August 2016 due to the forest fire. - © Foto: Ecopotential/Beierkuhnlein
"Ecopotential" has been collecting a large amount of data on European nature reserves for around two years. The data includes existing information from various sources on biodiversity and ecosystems in addition to remote sensing data collected by modern satellites. The data was analysed with a view to both research and practice. The objective is to provide sorely needed information about the status and development of nature reserves for their management. The finished products, e.g. precise maps illustrating changes in vegetation, enable concrete recommendations to be made, as the exhibition shows. For example, exactly how large was the forest fire on the island of La Palma caused by a German man in the summer of 2016 (one of the largest forest fires in recent history)? In which parts of the mountains is the time of snow coverage decreasing? Where are photosynthesis rates decreasing among the vegetation? Are the areas with especially precious habitats in nature reserves changing? Such knowledge allows decision-makers to react effectively, by providing funding and personnel with the aim of protecting nature.
Beierkuhnlein and his colleagues are now presenting their initial findings in an exhibition that will be on display in the European Parliament starting on 8 January 2018. The exhibition will then be displayed at various nature reserves for the public in their respective information centres. The exhibition was made possible by the support of Thomas Ammerl of the Bavarian Research Alliance (BayFOR) and MEP Monika Hohlmeier.
© Foto: Ecopotential/Beierkuhnlein
Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein
University of Bayreuth
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