Christopher Benjamin Anderson

Christopher Benjamin Anderson
Stanford University | SU · Department of Biology

Doctor of Philosophy

About

45
Publications
26,680
Reads
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3,551
Citations
Introduction
At the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford, my research focuses on understanding patterns of biodiversity change over large spatial scales using satellite and airborne earth observations technologies. As the co-founder of Salo Sciences, I help build forest monitoring systems, like the California Forest Observatory, to enable access to high resolution, regularly-updated ecological data.
Additional affiliations
May 2016 - present
Salo Sciences
Position
  • Co-founder and CTO
Description
  • I lead Salo's technical and visual design. We map trees from space.
April 2009 - March 2016
Carnegie Institution for Science
Position
  • CAO Flight Operations, Data Processing and Analysis
Education
September 2016 - December 2020
Stanford University
Field of study
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
September 2004 - June 2008
University of California, Santa Cruz
Field of study
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Publications

Publications (45)
Article
Full-text available
Riparian buffers—forests along rivers—generate many essential ecosystem services, and their protection and restoration are the focus of many policy efforts. Costa Rica is a global leader in this regard, where legislative and executive frameworks work in concert to conserve forests that deliver public benefits such as water quality and carbon storag...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Tourism accounts for roughly 10% of global gross domestic product, with nature-based tourism its fastest-growing sector in the past 10 years. Nature-based tourism can theoretically contribute to local and sustainable development by creating attractive livelihoods that support biodiversity conservation, but whether tourists prefer to vi...
Chapter
The transmission of vector-borne diseases is sensitive to environmental conditions, including temperature, humidity, rainfall, and land use/habitat quality. Understanding these causal relationships is especially important as increasing anthropogenic changes drive shifts in vector-borne disease dynamics. In this chapter, we first briefly describe th...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
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Agricultural practices constitute both the greatest cause of biodiversity loss and the greatest opportunity for conservation1,2, given the shrinking scope of protected areas in many regions. Recent studies have documented the high levels of biodiversity—across many taxa and biomes—that agricultural landscapes can support over the short term1,3,4. H...
Article
Full-text available
A growing body of empirical evidence is revealing the value of nature experience for mental health. With rapid urbanization and declines in human contact with nature globally, crucial decisions must be made about how to preserve and enhance opportunities for nature experience. Here, we first provide points of consensus across the natural, social, a...
Article
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The original paper was published without unique DOIs for GBIF occurrence downloads. These have now been inserted as references 70–76, and the error has been corrected in the PDF and HTML versions of the article.
Article
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The benefits nature provides to people, called ecosystem services, are increasingly recognized and accounted for in assessments of infrastructure development, agricultural management, conservation prioritization, and sustainable sourcing. These assessments are often limited by data, however, a gap with tremendous potential to be filled through Eart...
Article
Full-text available
A foundational paradigm in biological and Earth sciences is that our planet is divided into distinct ecoregions and biomes demarking unique assemblages of species. This notion has profoundly influenced scientific research and environmental policy. Given recent advances in technology and data availability, however, we are now poised to ask whether e...
Article
Full-text available
Background Biogeographers assess how species distributions and abundances affect the structure, function, and composition of ecosystems. Yet we face a major challenge: it is difficult to precisely map species across landscapes. Novel Earth observations could overcome this challenge for vegetation mapping. Airborne imaging spectrometers measure plan...
Data
Table S1. Confusion matrix of prediction probability results. Prediction probability results of the CCB-ID model using the competition test data. Each cell contains the sum of prediction probabilities from all observed crowns per species. These data were used to generate Fig. S1.
Data
Fig. S1. CCB-ID prediction probability performance. Per-species secondary performance metrics from the test data. These metrics were calculated using the prediction probability confusion matrix reported in Table S1. Low specificity scores for Pinus palustris, which do not appear in the binary classification results (Fig. 3, main text) reflect how i...
Article
Full-text available
Human activity and land‐use change are dramatically altering the sizes, geographical distributions and functioning of biological populations worldwide, with tremendous consequences for human well‐being. Yet our ability to measure, monitor and forecast biodiversity change – crucial to addressing it – remains limited. Biodiversity monitoring systems...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background. Biogeographers assess how species distributions and abundances affect the structure, function, and composition of ecosystems. Yet we face a major challenge: it is difficult to precisely map species across landscapes. Novel Earth observations could obviate this challenge. Airborne imaging spectrometers measure plant functional traits at...
Preprint
Background. Biogeographers assess how species distributions and abundances affect the structure, function, and composition of ecosystems. Yet we face a major challenge: it is difficult to precisely map species across landscapes. Novel Earth observations could obviate this challenge. Airborne imaging spectrometers measure plant functional traits at...
Article
Functional biogeography may bridge a gap between field-based biodiversity information and satellite-based Earth system studies, thereby supporting conservation plans to protect more species and their contributions to ecosystem functioning. We used airborne laser-guided imaging spectroscopy with environmental modeling to derive large-scale, multivar...
Article
Leaf economics spectrum (LES) theory suggests a universal trade-off between resource acquisition and storage strategies in plants, expressed in relationships between foliar nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), leaf mass per area (LMA), and photosynthesis. However, how environmental conditions mediate LES trait interrelationships, particularly at large...
Article
Full-text available
Average responses of forest foliar traits to elevation are well understood, but far less is known about trait distributional responses to elevation at multiple ecological scales. This limits our understanding of the ecological scales at which trait variation occurs in response to environmental drivers and change. We analyzed and compared multiple c...
Article
Mapping species through classification of imaging spectroscopy data is facilitating research to understand tree species distributions at increasingly greater spatial scales. Classification requires a dataset of field observations matched to the image, which will often reflect natural species distributions, resulting in an imbalanced dataset with ma...
Article
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Species interactions are susceptible to anthropogenic changes in ecosystems, but this has been poorly investigated in a spatially explicit manner in the case of plant parasitism, such as the omnipresent hemiparasitic mistletoe-host plant interactions. Analyzing such interactions at a large spatial scale may advance our understanding of parasitism p...
Article
Full-text available
Species interactions are susceptible to anthropogenic changes in ecosystems, but this has been poorly investigated in a spatially explicit manner in the case of plant parasitism, such as the omnipresent hemiparasitic mistletoe-host plant interactions. Analyzing such interactions at a large spatial scale may advance our understanding of parasitism p...
Article
The 2012-2015 drought has left California with severely reduced snowpack, soil moisture, ground water, and reservoir stocks, but the impact of this estimated millennial-scale event on forest health is unknown. We used airborne laser-guided spectroscopy and satellite-based models to assess losses in canopy water content of California's forests betwe...
Article
Tropical forests store large amounts of carbon in tree biomass, although the environmental controls on forest carbon stocks remain poorly resolved. Emerging airborne remote sensing techniques offer a powerful approach to understand how aboveground carbon density (ACD) varies across tropical landscapes. In this study, we evaluate the accuracy of the...
Article
Tropical forest functional diversity, which is a measure of the diversity of organismal interactions with the environment, is poorly understood despite its importance for linking evolutionary biology to ecosystem biogeochemistry. Functional diversity is reflected in functional traits such as the concentrations of different compounds in leaves or th...
Article
Field studies in Amazonia have found a relationship at continental scales between soil fertility and broad trends in forest structure and function. Little is known at regional scales, however, about how discrete patterns in forest structure or functional attributes map onto underlying edaphic or geological patterns. We collected airborne LiDAR (Lig...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests convert more atmospheric carbon into biomass each year than any terrestrial ecosystem on Earth, underscoring the importance of accurate tropical forest structure and biomass maps for the understanding and management of the global carbon cycle. Ecologists have long used field inventory plots as the main tool for understanding forest...
Article
Full-text available
Terrestrial carbon conservation can provide critical environmental, social, and climate benefits. Yet, the geographically complex mosaic of threats to, and opportunities for, conserving carbon in landscapes remain largely unresolved at national scales. Using a new high-resolution carbon mapping approach applied to Perú, a megadiverse country underg...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Remote identification and mapping of canopy tree species can contribute valuable information towards our understanding of ecosystem biodiversity and function over large spatial scales. However, the extreme challenges posed by highly diverse, closed-canopy tropical forests have prevented automated remote species mapping of non-flowering tree crowns...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Increasing size and abundance of lianas relative to trees are among the pervasive changes in neotropical forests, and may lead to reduced forest carbon stocks. Yet the liana growth form is chronically understudied in forest censuses, resulting in few data on the scale, cause, and impact of increasing lianas. Satellite...
Article
Spectral properties of foliage express fundamental chemical interactions of canopies with solar radiation. However, the degree to which leaf spectra track chemical traits across environmental gradients in tropical forests is unknown. We analyzed leaf reflectance and transmittance spectra in 2567 tropical canopy trees comprising 1449 species in 17 f...
Article
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Patterns of tropical forest functional diversity express processes of ecological assembly at multiple geographic scales and aid in predicting ecological responses to environmental change. Tree canopy chemistry underpins forest functional diversity, but the interactive role of phylogeny and environment in determining the chemical traits of tropical...
Article
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Elevation gradients provide opportunities to explore environmental controls on forest structure and functioning. We used airborne imaging spectroscopy and lidar (light detection and ranging) to quantify changes in three-dimensional forest structure and canopy functional traits in twenty 25 ha landscapes distributed along a 3300 m elevation gradient...
Article
Full-text available
Accurate and spatially-explicit maps of tropical forest carbon stocks are needed to implement carbon offset mechanisms such as REDD+ (Reduced Deforestation and Degradation Plus). The Random Forest machine learning algorithm may aid carbon mapping applications using remotely-sensed data. However, Random Forest has never been compared to traditional...
Article
Full-text available
Elevation gradients provide opportunities to explore environmental controls on forest structure and functioning, but plot-based studies have proven highly variable due to limited geographic scope. We used airborne imaging spectroscopy and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) to quantify changes in three-dimensional forest structure and canopy functi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background/Question/Methods Old growth tropical rainforests play a large role in the global carbon (C) cycle by storing about 350 Pg C in aboveground tree biomass, a reservoir that is shrinking due to widespread forest clearing and degradation. A shifting climate may also cause substantial changes in intact forest C stocks. And yet, our understan...
Article
Full-text available
High fidelity carbon mapping has the potential to greatly advance national resource management and to encourage international action toward climate change mitigation. However, carbon inventories based on field plots alone cannot capture the heterogeneity of carbon stocks, and thus remote sensing-assisted approaches are critically important to carbo...
Article
Full-text available
Canopy gaps express the time-integrated effects of tree failure and mortality as well as regrowth and succession in tropical forests. Quantifying the size and spatial distribution of canopy gaps is requisite to modeling forest functional processes ranging from carbon fluxes to species interactions and biological diversity. Using high-resolution air...
Article
The Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO) was developed to address a need for macroscale measurements that reveal the structural, functional and organismic composition of Earth's ecosystems. In 2011, we completed and launched the CAO-2 next generation Airborne Taxonomic Mapping Systems (AToMS), which includes a high-fidelity visible-to-shortwave infr...
Article
Remote sensing of canopy chemistry could greatly advance the study and monitoring of functional processes and biological diversity in humid tropical forests. Imaging spectroscopy has contributed to canopy chemical remote sensing, but efforts to develop general, globally-applicable approaches have been limited by sparse and inconsistent field and la...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
The biodiversity of the world is threatened by human-driven environmental change. Yet many of these threats go addressed, or are not well not known, as they are difficult to quantify on global scales. The Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) performs research designed to improve how we measure the rate, magnitude, and geography of biodiversity change worldwide. Our goal is to develop strategies for comprehensive biodiversity monitoring that can inform large-scale conservation efforts and environmental policy.