A remote sensing-based dataset to characterize the ecosystem functioning and functional diversity of a Biosphere Reserve: Sierra Nevada (SE Spain)

Año Publicación:  2020
Responsable: B. Cazorla et al.
Journal, Volumen y páginas:
Earth System Science Data


B. Cazorla, J. Cabello, A. Reyes, E. Guirado, J. Peñas, A. J. Pérez-Luque & D. Alcaraz-Segura


Conservation Biology faces the challenge of safeguarding the ecological processes that sustain biodiversity. Characterization and evaluation of these processes can be carried out through attributes or functional traits related to the exchanges of matter and energy between vegetation and the atmosphere. Nowadays, the use of satellite imagery provides useful methods to produce a spatially continuous characterization of ecosystem functioning and processes at regional scales. Our dataset characterizes the patterns of ecosystem functioning in Sierra Nevada (Spain) from the vegetation greenness dynamics captured through the spectral vegetation index EVI (Enhanced Vegetation Index) since 2001 to 2018 (product MOD13Q1.006 from MODIS sensor). First, we provided three Ecosystem Functional Attributes (EFAs) (i.e., descriptors of annual primary production, seasonality, and phenology of carbon gains), as well as their integration into a synthetic mapping of Ecosystem Functional Types (EFTs). Second, we provided two measures of functional diversity: EFT richness and EFT rarity. Finally, in addition to the yearly maps, we calculated interannual summaries, i.e., means and inter-annual variabilities. Examples of research and management applications of these data sets are also included to highlight the value of EFAs and EFTs to improve the understanding and monitoring ecosystem processes across environmental gradients. The datasets are available in two open-source sites and bring to scientists, managers and the general public valuable information on the first characterization of the functional diversity at ecosystem level developed in a Mediterranean hotspot. Sierra Nevada represents an exceptional ecology laboratory of field conditions, where a long-term monitoring (LTER) program was established 10 years ago. The data availability on biodiversity, climate, ecosystem services, hydrology, land-use changes and management practices from Sierra Nevada, will allow to explore the relationships between these other environmental data and ecosystem functional data that we provide in this work.

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