Connecting Earth observation to high-throughput biodiversity data

Bush, Alex; Sollmann, Rahel; Wilting, Andreas; Bohmann, Kristine; Cole, Beth; Balzter, Heiko; Martius, Christopher; Zlinszky, András; Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien; Cobbold, Christina A.; Dawson, Terence P.; Emerson, Brent C.; Ferrier, Simon; Gilbert, M.T.P.; Herold, Martin


Understandably, given the fast pace of biodiversity loss, there is much interest in using Earth observation technology to track
biodiversity, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. However, because most biodiversity is invisible to Earth observation,
indicators based on Earth observation could be misleading and reduce the effectiveness of nature conservation and even
unintentionally decrease conservation effort. We describe an approach that combines automated recording devices, highthroughput
DNA sequencing and modern ecological modelling to extract much more of the information available in Earth
observation data. This approach is achievable now, offering efficient and near-real-time monitoring of management impacts
on biodiversity and its functions and services.