Remote Sensing as a Tool for Tropical Ecology



Tropical forests provide important habitat for a tremendous diversity of plant and animal species. However, limitations in measuring and monitoring the structure and function of tropical forests has caused these systems to remain poorly understood. Remote-sensing technology has provided a powerful tool for quantification of structural patterns and associating these with resource use. Satellite and aerial platforms can be used to collect remotely sensed images of tropical forests that can be applied to ecological research and management. The purpose of this article is to highlight the resources available for tropical forest remote sensing and to present a case-study that demonstrates its application to a neotropical forest located in the Petén region of northern Guatemala.