The Biosphere research topic aims to integrate and use forest (structure) parameters derived from radar remote sensing techniques in monitoring the state and the properties of global forests with a particular focus on biological properties. The investigations will be performed on different levels: from the estimation of forest parameters by means of radar data, to secondary biological indicators derived from these parameters, the complementarity to optical/hyperspectral data and parameters up to vegetation model predictions that extrapolate forest dynamics in space and time. The most important goal of this research topic is gaining a better understanding of the following scientific questions:

  • How does the spatial heterogeneity of natural forests impact on structure and biomass measurements obtained from radar remote sensing techniques?
  • What is the effect of environmental and terrain conditions on the estimation and interpretation of radar derived forest structure parameters?
  • How can from radar remote sensing derived forest parameters be used to quantify disturbance type and disturbance intensity in forests?
  • Are the new radar remote sensing configurations able to deliver timely and affordable data for describing forest dynamics as well as changes in biodiversity?
  • Is it possible to derive relationships which relate forest structure parameters as derived by radar remote sensing to local tree species richness?
  • What is the potential of using multi-sensor data sources to estimate biophysical vegetation parameters?
  • Are disturbances of vegetation/forests as identified by radar matched by respective changes in biochemical parameters derived from hyperspectral data?
  • How can local dynamic forest models and global vegetation models be coupled to satellite data? How can satellite data be used to parameterise forest models?
  • How does forest structure vary with environmental conditions and human management on a global scale?
  • What are the consequences of climate change for the local forest climate and the stability of forests?

Biosphere Work Packages