Mapping the biodiversity and functioning of forests and coral reefs is critical to understanding how best to conserve and manage them in a changing world. Advanced Global Airborne Observatory (GAO) mapping technology has reached performance levels required for operational monitoring of forest and reef biodiversity and functional properties from the air. However, spectral-chemical libraries are needed to advance our understanding further and to make maximum use of the technology.

Our approach called Spectranomics integrates canopy chemical and spectral properties in a phylogenetic (tree-of-life) context that advances current GAO and future satellite mapping techniques based on high-fidelity imaging spectroscopy. In support of this unique GAO capability, the Spectranomics Group and its partners are actively surveying forests worldwide with the goal of advancing the basic science needed to map forest canopy species from their chemical and spectroscopic traits. The team has developed the world’s first Spectranomics Database, an extensive sample library, numerous and widely used field and laboratory protocols, and a plethora of publications that link plant canopies to their spectroscopic and chemical properties. The Spectranomics Database is a critical step required to support regional and global biodiversity mapping efforts in the coming decades.

Project Website
Current Funders:

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Rainforest Trust
Avatar Alliance Foundation
William R. Hearst III
Paul G. Allen Philanthropies

Past Funders:

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
The Grantham Foundation

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