Sensing biodiversity

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Science  17 Oct 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6207, pp. 301-302
DOI: 10.1126/science.1256014

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Biodiversity loss is a global change with consequences that may exceed those of climate change (1). Yet, limited data on key aspects of biodiversity continue to constrain conservation efforts. Effective biodiversity conservation will require rapidly increasing understanding of the elements of biodiversity (such as the condition of ecosystems or the number and identities of species) and how they are changing through time. Satellite and airborne remote sensing are key to this effort but will only achieve their conservation potential when networked with in situ sensors (see the figure).