Animals respond to both horizontal and vertical patterns in forest structure. Habitat modeling efforts that include forest structure can therefore provide more accurate representations of habitat quality and biodiversity. Although airborne lidar is effective for characterizing vertical structure in forests, the limited spatial extent of this data creates challenges for studying wide-ranging animals. Spaceborne lidar, like GEDI, is likely to provide important vertical structural data at extents that will assist in 1) landscape management of critical animal habitat, and 2) identification of areas of high biodiversity. GEDI data additionally serves as a freely available reference data set for creating moderate resolution continuous maps of structure through fusions with additional publicly available remote sensing data. In this project, we will assess the trade-offs of using GEDI in combination with other freely available remote sensing products to produce wall-to-wall GEDI-derived forest structure metrics that are important for animals across five western U.S. states (WA, OR, ID, WY, CO).
Assess the trade-offs in different remote sensing data fusions and modeling approaches for the creation of continuous forest structure characteristics.
Explore whether products from Objective 1 effectively capture the distribution and essential habitat components for a suite of
mammal and bird species.
Investigate how products from Objectives 1 and 2 characterize the diversity of birds and mammals across differing forest types.