Monitoring opencast mine restorations using Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) imagery

Padró J.-C., Carabassa V., Balagué J., Brotons L., Alcañiz J.M., Pons X. (2019) Monitoring opencast mine restorations using Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) imagery. Science of the Total Environment. 657: 1602-1614.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.156

Resum:

Open-pit mine is still an unavoidable activity but can become unsustainable without the restoration of degraded sites. Monitoring the restoration after extractive activities is a legal requirement for mine companies and public administrations in many countries, involving financial provisions for environmental liabilities. The objective of this contribution is to present a rigorous, low-cost and easy-to-use application of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for supporting opencast mining and restoration monitoring, complementing the inspections with very high (

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Remotely sensed indicators and open-access biodiversity data to assess bird diversity patterns in Mediterranean rural landscapes

Ribeiro I., Proença V., Serra P., Palma J., Domingo-Marimon C., Pons X., Domingos T. (2019) Remotely sensed indicators and open-access biodiversity data to assess bird diversity patterns in Mediterranean rural landscapes. Scientific Reports. 9: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-43330-3

Resum:

Biodiversity monitoring at simultaneously fine spatial resolutions and large spatial extents is needed but limited by operational trade-offs and costs. Open-access data may be cost-effective to address those limitations. We test the use of open-access satellite imagery (NDVI texture variables) and biodiversity data, assembled from GBIF, to investigate the relative importance of variables of habitat extent and structure as indicators of bird community richness and dissimilarity in the Alentejo region (Portugal). Results show that, at the landscape scale, forest bird richness is better indicated by the availability of tree cover in the overall landscape than by the extent or structure of the forest habitats. Open-land birds also respond to landscape structure, namely to the spectral homogeneity and size of open-land patches and to the presence of perennial vegetation amid herbaceous habitats. Moreover, structure variables were more important than climate variables or geographic distance to explain community dissimilarity patterns at the regional scale. Overall, summer imagery, when perennial vegetation is more discernible, is particularly suited to inform indicators of forest and open-land bird community richness and dissimilarity, while spring imagery appears to be also useful to inform indicators of open-land bird richness. © 2019, The Author(s).

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