TIGERS-TALK 23 12.04.2018 Sandra Luque

Finding solutions from space: Essential Biodiversity Variables (RS-EBVs) for conservation planning 

Carl-Vogt at 12.15, computer room 1st floor: 

Prof. Sandra Luque, IRSTEA, France


The world is experiencing a biodiversity crisis. Recent studies have shown that important changes in biodiversity (unprecedented shifts in the species composition of ecological assemblages) (Dornelas at al 2014; Magurran et al 2015; McGill et al 2015) and biodiversity loss (Newbold et al 2015) together threaten the world’s ecosystems and the services they provide. Biodiversity change is linked to the transformations of natural habitats, invasive species and climate change. In face to such wide changes, new international initiatives such as IPBES (http://www.ipbes.net/), Future Earth (http://www.futureearth.org/) seek to build global capacity to promote the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity. However, despite these efforts, global biodiversity, and the ecosystem functions it supports, is increasingly threatened by anthropogenic impacts. Yet it is still difficult to assess progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets for 2011–2020 set by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).  To focus priorities, ecologists have proposed classes of ‘essential biodiversity variables’ EBV’s — including species traits and populations, and ecosystem function and structure. But measuring these on the ground is laborious and limited. The open access availability of satellite images from new sensors characterized by various spatial and temporal resolutions provides new challenges and possibilities for biodiversity conservation. Key parameter derived from Remote sensing data (RS) could be used to develop a set of the EBV’s indicators. The joint use of remote sensing data sources with various spatial, temporal and spectral resolutions is essential for accessing the different descriptors of natural habitats. Issues of scalability remain challenging with a view towards upscaling to a global level. Still RS-EBV’s present some limitations but they constitute a promising basis to support policy-making in order to fulfil the conservation strategy. 

Short Bio:

Sandra Luque is Research Director at IRSTEA (National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture), at TETIS Integrated Unit (UMR TETIS Land, environment, remote sensing and spatial information ),France and Senior  Research Associate at the Centre for Biological Diversity, University of St Andrews, Scotland. She is a landscape ecologist, interested on spatial heterogeneity and landscape patterns implications for communities, and ecosystem processes. She focus on the key role that the human dimension imprints on the obvious and subtle impacts on ecosystems and cross-cutting issues in relation to sustainable development concepts and  tools. She is a former NASA Fellow on Global Change research from the Earth Observation Program, USA. She served as nominated Expert for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). She is Coordinator for the IUFRO Division 8 on Forest Environment.  She is deputy coordinator for the IUFRO Working Party "Forest Landscape Ecology". She serves the board of INTECOL.  She served IALE as elected Vice-president and she recently received the IALE Award for Distinguished Services to the Society.  She is also member of different evaluations panels and programs for the Research Academies of Finland, Germany, Portugal, France and Switzerland.  She has authored articles and book chapters on forest landscape ecology, remote sensing, temporal and spatial changes, lately she published on conservation value and forest related services.




12 April 2018