PE&RS September 2014 - page 831

September 2014
Earth Observation of Ecosystem
Edited by: Domingo Alcaraz-Segura, Carlos
Marcelo Di Bella, and Julietta Veronica
CRC Press, 2014, 482pp
ISBN 978-1-4665-0588-9 (hardback)
Reviewed by:
Thomas H Mace, Mace
Geospatial, LLC, Menasha, Wisconsin
Earth Observation of Ecosystem Services
is a compendium of
contributions from 56 international authors which is part of a
series edited by Emilio Chuvieco entitled
Earth Observation
of Global Changes
. It is organized into six Sections, each with
a set of Chapters with editors and contributors. Following
each Chapter is an extensive set of references, which are both
current and exhaustive. Extensive use of sub-headings makes
the book highly readable, and the references form a valuable
entry into the state-of-the-science for students, practitioners,
and researchers interested in applications of remote sensing
to monitoring ecosystems.
The book does not presume to exhaust all applications of
remote sensing to ecosystem services, but rather highlights
some of the most important applications. These are reflected
in the Sections which include both methods and case studies
for: Carbon Cycle, Biodiversity, Water Cycle, Energy Balance,
and Multidimensional Approaches. Each Section could stand
alone, although the editors have done an excellent job of inte-
grating the writing, so that the text flows from one Chapter to
another, and from one Section to the next.
This is not a basic remote sensing text. There is a strong
presumption that the reader is familiar with remote sensing,
especially satellite observations. What the text does, admira-
bly, is to cast the remote sensing observations into variables
related to the services natural and urban ecosystems supply,
using both energy observations and models, and supplying
a discussion of the advantages and limitations of both. This
discussion of benefits and limitations is both realistic and
forward-thinking, and should suggest to the reader new
avenues of research, as well as how to directly apply state-of-
the science to current problems. The focus is on the ecosystem
services relevant to humans. Remote sensing technologies
are described, but only in the framework of the ecosystem
variables to be measured or monitored.
This is a masterfully edited and exhaustively researched
compendium from an extremely diverse set of authors. The
subject is important, fresh, and timely. The information
contained is accurate and thoroughly documented. This may
be the book’s greatest value. The articles cited will provide
the reader with a balanced view of the literature from both an
ecological and a remote sensing perspective. As such, it rep-
resents an excellent companion to standard remote sensing
texts for remote sensing researchers and practitioners, and
a window into possibilities for ecologists who wish to extend
field measurements over larger regions or time.
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