Lands

Lands

Combining extensive field research, computer modeling, and airborne and satellite remote sensing, the Asner Lab studies the interactions between land use, climate, and ecosystem functioning. Our research has uncovered ecological degradation and biodiversity change in remote forest, savanna, and desert regions of the world.

Combating Rapid Ohia Death in Hawaiian Forests

Combating Rapid Ohia Death in Hawaiian Forests

The Global Airborne Observatory (GAO) is mapping forest conditions throughout the Hawaiian Islands, with a special focus on the detection of Metrosideros polymorpha, (also known as Ohi’a), Hawaii’s most important native tree species. The spread of Rapid Ohi’a Death, or ROD, to Ohi’a trees has increased over the years due to a highly aggressive foreign […]

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Studying Biodiversity and Carbon Storage in California’s Forests

Studying Biodiversity and Carbon Storage in California’s Forests

California is both a global biodiversity hotspot and home to forest ecosystems with the highest aboveground carbon storage per unit of land area on earth. Warming temperatures and changing precipitation patterns threaten California’s forests and their ecosystem services. The Asner Lab is working to map patterns of forest species composition, forest functional diversity, and carbon […]

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Supporting the Creation of a New Rainforest Protected Area in Malaysian Borneo

Supporting the Creation of a New Rainforest Protected Area in Malaysian Borneo

In 2016, the Global Airborne Observatory mapped much of the Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo in support of a government-led initiative to establish a large new protected area. This work positioned the Asner Lab as a key expert in service to the Malaysian government. Our lab is responsible for identifying the […]

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Development of a Forest Carbon Monitoring System in Peru

Development of a Forest Carbon Monitoring System in Peru

Forests are the lungs of the Earth: they take in and store carbon dioxide, and release the oxygen we breathe. This is something we intuitively understand, but we have not yet developed practical and cost-effective ways of accounting for this value in our economic decisions and transactions. The result is that tropical countries are incentivized […]

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Mapping Hawaii for Biodiversity Conservation

Mapping Hawaii for Biodiversity Conservation

Land use practices over the last century have drastically altered the extent and composition of native Hawaiian forests. One of the exciting projects the Pacific Ridge-to-Reef team at Arizona State University is actively working on is mapping expansive areas of critically important forests at the species level throughout the Hawaiian Islands. These species maps help […]

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African Savanna Biodiversity

African Savanna Biodiversity

Savannas cover at least 40 percent of the global tropics and support a fifth of the world’s population, thus efforts to better understand biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in these systems are essential for climate change mitigation and effective policy formulation. Using our Airborne Observatory’s light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology, the diverse scope of our […]

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