BIOLOGY GRAD STUDENT PAPER HIGHLIGHTED BY JOURNAL EDITOR

A paper authored by Biology Department PhD student John Park  and coauthored by two UF faculty (Jeremy Lichstein, Biology; Stephanie Bohlman, School of Forest Resources and Conservation)  was selected as an “Editor’s Choice” by the journal Remote Sensing. The study used images acquired from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or ‘drones’) and a machine-learning algorithm to study leaf phenology (e.g. seasonal changes in leaf cover) of canopy trees in a seasonally dry tropical forest. Tropical forests have complex and asynchronous patterns of leaf phenology, including evergreen, seasonally deciduous, and semi-deciduous tree species. These complex patterns mediate a variety of ecosystem processes, such as nutrient and water cycling, trophic interactions, and plant competition. The paper by Park et al. is novel, being the first UAV-based study of canopy phenology of individual trees and species in a diverse tropical forest. For more information see: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/11/13/1534