We are working on West Africa tropical forests to understand how a changing climate is modifying the structure, morphology and chemistry of tropical forests. Our focus up to know is Ghana where we, together with our local collaborators, work in vegetation plots located across a latitudinal and climatic gradients from the wet tropical forest to the savannas bordering Burkina Faso.

UAV plane
One of our UAV planes. Photo: Jesús Aguirre Gutiérrez.

In each vegetation plots we are collecting information about the identity and abundance of trees and their size. Moreover we are collecting information about their functional traits such as leaf size and area, thickness, wood density and photosynthetic capacity, chemistry and hydraulic traits information. On top of this, we are mapping the landscape where each plot is located using UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) with spectral and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors that deliver extremely high accuracy information on the reflectance signatures of the tree individuals and their structure.

We are collaborating with other organisations such as Planet Labs to Improve satellite technology and its products based on our ecological analysis and outputs. The Scale/Remote Sensing package within the Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery (LCNR) is tightly linked to all other themes where we are working into scaling up, across space and time, the ecological, social and economic findings.

Specially within the ‘Ecology’ theme we are working together to understand how the diversity of plant species reflects the species and their functional traits across gradients of human modification in tropical forests.

Within the ‘Social’ theme we are working together to understand the role that the social context in cocoa farms in West plays for determining the status of forest ecosystems that are immersed in agricultural matrices.

If you are curious and want to know more about our work, visit our website and feel free to contact me directly.

Read more about this project and ‘Mapping nature recovery at scale‘.

Project outputs