Edward T. A. Mitchard

Edward T. A. Mitchard
The University of Edinburgh | UoE · School of GeoSciences

BA PhD

About

117
Publications
56,146
Reads
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9,880
Citations
Citations since 2016
61 Research Items
7767 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400

Publications

Publications (117)
Article
Full-text available
We assessed the process of carbon (C) accumulation as a consequence of forest expansion in abandoned agricultural lands over the period 1977–2017 in a vast (9.4 million ha) area of Mediterranean continental environment in Central-North Spain. We achieved this objective, through obtaining AGC and BGC estimations based on direct field measurements ta...
Article
Full-text available
Mining is a vital part of the global, and many national, economies. Mining also has the potential to drive extensive land cover change, including deforestation, with impacts reaching far from the mine itself. Understanding the amount of deforestation associated with mining is important for conservationists, governments, mining companies, and consum...
Article
Full-text available
Forests store approximately as much carbon as is in the atmosphere, with potential to take in or release carbon rapidly based on growth, climate change and human disturbance. Above-ground biomass (AGB) is the largest carbon pool in most forest systems, and the quickest to change following disturbance. Quantifying AGB on a global scale and being abl...
Article
Full-text available
In the last decades tropical forests have experienced increased fragmentation due to a global growing demand for agricultural and forest commodities. Satellite remote sensing offers a valuable tool for monitoring forest loss, thanks to the global coverage and the temporal consistency of the acquisitions. In tropical regions, C-band Synthetic Apertu...
Article
Full-text available
Selective logging is a major cause of forest degradation in the tropics, but its precise scale, location and timing are not known as wide-area, automated remote sensing methods are not yet available at this scale. This limits the abilities of governments to police illegal logging, or monitor (and thus receive payments for) reductions in degradation...
Preprint
The Central Congo Basin is home to the largest peat swamp in the tropics. Two major vegetation types overlay the peat: hardwood trees, and palms (mostly the trunkless Raphia laurentii variety), with each dominant in different locations. The cause of the location of these differently composed swamp areas is not understood. We investigated their dist...
Book
Full-text available
Au niveau mondial, ce sont les écosystèmes des tourbières, ces zones humides dont le sol présente une accumulation de matière organique partiellement décomposée, qui stockent le volume le plus important de carbone terrestre par unité de surface (Rydin and Jeglum 2006 ; Leifeld and Menichetti 2018). Elles couvrent près de 3 % de la surface terr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Forests are vital for the wellbeing of our planet. Large and small scale deforestation across the globe is threatening the stability of our climate, forest biodiversity, and therefore the preservation of fragile ecosystems and our natural habitat as a whole. With increasing public interest in climate change issues and forest preservation, a large d...
Article
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Tropical peatlands are among the most carbon-dense ecosystems but land-use change has led to the loss of large peatland areas, associated with substantial greenhouse gas emissions. To design effective conservation and restoration policies, maps of the location and carbon storage of tropical peatlands are vital. This is especially so in countries su...
Article
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Over the past decade, several global maps of above-ground biomass (AGB) have been produced, but they exhibit significant differences that reduce their value for climate and carbon cycle modelling, and also for national estimates of forest carbon stocks and their changes. The number of such maps is anticipated to increase because of new satellite mi...
Preprint
Forest degradation is known to be widespread in the tropics, but is currently very poorly mapped, in part because there is little quantitative data on which satellite sensor characteristics and analysis methods are best at detecting it. To improve this, we used data from the Tropical Forest Degradation Experiment (FODEX) plots in the southern Peruv...
Article
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Native vegetation across the Brazilian Cerrado is highly heterogeneous and biodiverse and provides important ecosystem services, including carbon and water balance regulation, however, land-use changes have been extensive. Conservation and restoration of native vegetation is essential and could be facilitated by detailed landcover maps. Here, acros...
Article
Full-text available
Current satellite remote sensing methods struggle to detect and map forest degradation, which is a critical issue as it is likely a major and growing source of carbon emissions and biodiveristy loss. TanDEM-X InSAR phase height (hϕ) is a promising variable for measuring forest disturbances, as it is closely related to the mean canopy height, and th...
Article
Full-text available
For monitoring and reporting forest carbon stocks and fluxes, many countries in the tropics and subtropics rely on default values of forest aboveground biomass (AGB) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventories. Default IPCC forest AGB values originated from 2006, and are relativ...
Article
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Tropical forests are complex multi‐layered systems, with the height and three‐dimensional (3D) structure of trees influencing the carbon and biodiversity they contain. Fine‐resolution 3D data on forest structure can be collected reliably with Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensors mounted on aircraft or Unoccupied Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), howev...
Preprint
Current satellite remote sensing methods struggle to detect and map forest degradation, a critical issue as it is likely a major and growing source of carbon emissions and biodiveristy loss. TanDEM-X InSAR phase height (hϕ) is a promising variable for measuring forest disturbances, as it is closely related to mean canopy height, and thus should dec...
Article
For many countries in the global south the World Bank is a key funder of development. A subset of the activities it funds have the potential to cause harm to biodiversity. Currently, however, little is known about the spatial coincidence of Bank-funded projects and important areas for biodiversity. Using a dataset of World Bank projects funded betw...
Article
Full-text available
Forest degradation leads to the gradual reduction of forest carbon stocks, function, and biodiversity following anthropogenic disturbance. Whilst tropical degradation is a widespread problem, it is currently very under-studied and its magnitude and extent are largely unknown. This is due, at least in part, to the lack of developed and tested method...
Article
Full-text available
Peatland pole forest is the most carbon-dense ecosystem in Amazonia, but its spatial distribution and species composition are poorly known. To address this knowledge gap, we quantified variation in the floristic composition, peat thickness, and the amount of carbon stored above and below ground of 102 forest plots and 53 transects in northern Peruv...
Article
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Positive biodiversity‐ecosystem function relationships (BEFRs) have been widely documented, but it is unclear if BEFRs should be expected in disturbance‐driven systems. Disturbance may limit competition and niche differentiation, which are frequently posited to underlie BEFRs. We provide the first exploration of the relationship between tree specie...
Book
Full-text available
the full text can be found at: https://lpvs.gsfc.nasa.gov/PDF/CEOS_WGCV_LPV_Biomass_Protocol_2021_V1.0.pdf
Article
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The terrestrial forest carbon pool is poorly quantified, in particular in regions with low forest inventory capacity. By combining multiple satellite observations of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) backscatter around the year 2010, we generated a global, spatially explicit dataset of above-ground live biomass (AGB; dry mass) stored in forests with a...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Tree crowns determine light interception, carbon and water exchange. Thus, understanding the factors causing tree crown allometry to vary at the tree and stand level matters greatly for the development of future vegetation modelling and for the calibration of remote sensing products. Nevertheless, we know little about large‐scale variation and...
Preprint
Full-text available
The terrestrial forest carbon pool is poorly quantified, in particular in regions with low forest inventory capacity. By combining multiple satellite observations of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) backscatter around the year 2010, we generated a global, spatially explicit dataset of above-ground forest biomass (dry mass, AGB) with a spatial resolut...
Article
Aim Large trees [≥ 70 cm diameter at breast height (DBH)] contribute disproportionately to aboveground carbon stock (AGC) across the tropics but may be vulnerable to changing climate and human activities. Here we determine the distribution, drivers and threats to large trees and high carbon forest. Location Central Africa. Time period Current. M...
Article
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The world's most extensive tropical peatlands occur in the Cuvette Centrale depression in the Congo Basin, which stores 30.6 petagrams of carbon (95% CI, 6.3-46.8). Improving our understanding of the genesis, development and functioning of these under-studied peatlands requires knowledge of their topography and, in particular, whether the peat surf...
Article
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Synthetic Aperture Radar has a unique potential for continuous forest mapping as it is not affected by cloud cover. While longer wavelengths, such as L-band, are commonly used for forest applications, in this paper we assess the aptitude of C-band Sentinel-1 data for this purpose, for which there is much interest due to its high temporal resolution...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial and temporal patterns of tropical leaf renewal are poorly understood and poorly parameterized in modern Earth System Models due to lack of data. Remote sensing has great potential for sampling leaf phenology across tropical landscapes but until now has been impeded by lack of ground-truthing, cloudiness, poor spatial resolution, and the cry...
Article
Full-text available
Bastin et al . (Reports, 5 July 2019, p. 76) state that the restoration potential of new forests globally is 205 gigatonnes of carbon, conclude that “global tree restoration is our most effective climate change solution to date,” and state that climate change will drive the loss of 450 million hectares of existing tropical forest by 2050. Here we s...
Article
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The increased demand for palm oil has led to an expansion of oil palm concessions in the tropics, and the clearing of abundant forest as a result. However, concessions are typically incompletely planted to varying degrees, leaving much land unused. The remaining forests within such concessions are at high risk of deforestation, as there are normall...
Article
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The recent publication of the first spatially explicit map of peatlands in the Cuvette Centrale, central Congo Basin, reveals it to be the most extensive tropical peatland complex, at ca. 145,500 km². With an estimated 30.6 Pg of carbon stored in these peatlands, there are now questions about whether these carbon stocks are under threat and, if so,...
Article
Plans to triple the area of plantations will not meet 1.5 °C climate goals. New natural forests can, argue Simon L. Lewis, Charlotte E. Wheeler and colleagues.
Article
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Reducing forest loss has the potential to reduce global carbon emissions, but paying countries to do so will only work if activities are targeting areas with rapid deforestation or high threat. As of December 2017, 25 countries reported their benchmark greenhouse gas emissions from forests ("Reference Levels") under the United Nations Framework Con...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical disturbed forests play an important role in global carbon sequestration due to their rapid post-disturbance biomass accumulation rates. However, the accurate estimation of the carbon sequestration capacity of disturbed forests is still challenging due to large uncertainties in their spatial distribution. Using Google Earth Engine (GEE), we...
Article
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Many tropical forest landscapes are now complex mosaics of intact forests, recovering forests, tree crops, agroforestry, pasture, and crops. The small patch size of each land cover type contributes to making them difficult to separate using satellite remote sensing data. We used Sentinel-2 data to conduct supervised classifications covering seven c...
Article
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The Bateke Plateau in the Republic of Congo is one of the last frontiers for ecology, with little known about its floristics and physiognomy. Despite occupying 89,800 km² and its importance for local livelihoods, its ecology and ecosystem functions are poorly understood. Situated on Kalahari sands, the Bateke has a complex evolutionary history, mai...
Article
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Land use carbon fluxes are major uncertainties in the global carbon cycle. This is because carbon stocks, and the extent of deforestation, degradation and biomass growth remain poorly resolved, particularly in the densely populated savannas which dominate the tropics. Here we quantify changes in aboveground woody carbon stocks from 2007-2010 in the...
Article
Tropical forests make an approximately neutral contribution to the global carbon cycle, with intact and recovering forests taking in as much carbon as is released through deforestation and degradation. In the near future, tropical forests are likely to become a carbon source, owing to continued forest loss and the effect of climate change on the ab...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical dry forests experience the highest deforestation rates on Earth, with major implications for the biodiversity of these ecosystems, as well as for its human occupants. Global remote sensing based forest cover data (2000 − 2012) point to the rapid loss of tropical dry forest in South America and Africa, also, if not foremost, inside formally...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding forest loss patterns in Amazonia, the Earth's largest rainforest region, is critical for effective forest conservation and management. Following the most detailed analysis to date, spanning the entire Amazon and extending over a 14-year period (2001-2014), we reveal significant shifts in deforestation dynamics of Amazonian forests. Fi...
Article
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Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) signals respond to the interactions of microwaves with vegetation canopy scatterers that collectively characterise forest structure. The sensitivity of S-band (7.5–15 cm) backscatter to the different forest types (broadleaved, needleleaved) with varying aboveground biomass (AGB) across temperate (mixed, needleleaved)...
Article
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Abstract Accurate, consistent reporting of changing forest area, stratified by forest type, is required for all countries under their commitments to the Paris Agreement (UNFCCC 2015). Such change reporting may directly impact on payments through comparisons to national Reference (Emissions) Levels under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and...
Article
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There is an urgent need to quantify anthropogenic influence on forest carbon stocks. Using satellite-based radar imagery for such purposes has been challenged by the apparent loss of signal sensitivity to changes in forest aboveground volume (AGV) above a certain ‘saturation’ point. The causes of saturation are debated and often inadequately addres...
Article
Full-text available
Large, intact areas of tropical peatland are highly threatened at a global scale by the expansion of commercial agriculture and other forms of economic development. Conserving peatlands on a landscape scale, with their hydrology intact, is of international conservation importance to preserve their distinctive biodiversity and ecosystem services and...
Article
Peatlands are carbon-rich ecosystems that cover just three per cent of Earth's land surface, but store one-third of soil carbon. Peat soils are formed by the build-up of partially decomposed organic matter under waterlogged anoxic conditions. Most peat is found in cool climatic regions where unimpeded decomposition is slower, but deposits are also...
Conference Paper
Fires exacerbated during El Niño Southern Oscillation are a serious threat in Indonesia leading to the destruction and degradation of tropical forests and emissions of CO2 in the atmosphere. Forest structural changes which occurred due to the 1997-1998 El Niño Southern Oscillation in the Sungai Wain Protection Forest (East Kalimantan, Indonesia), a...
Article
Full-text available
The wealth of complementary data available from remote sensing missions can hugely aid efforts towards accurately determining land use and quantifying subtle changes in land use management or intensity. This study reviewed 112 studies on fusing optical and radar data, which offer unique spectral and structural information, for land cover and use as...
Article
We combined two existing datasets of vegetation aboveground biomass (AGB) (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108, 2011, 9899; Nature Climate Change, 2, 2012, 182) into a pan-tropical AGB map at 1-km resolution using an independent reference dataset of field observations and locally calibrated high-reso...
Conference Paper
Forest disturbance due to fire and subsequent regeneration are important processes particularly in South East Asia. Forests damaged by fire are still valuable in terms of conservation due to their ability to recover, sequester carbon and restore ecosystem services and should therefore be monitored. Sungai Wain Protected Forest (SWPF) located near t...
Article
We combined two existing datasets of vegetation aboveground biomass (AGB) (Saatchi et al., 2011; Baccini et al., 2012) into a pan-tropical AGB map at 1-km resolution using an independent reference dataset of field observations and locally-calibrated high-resolution biomass maps, harmonized and upscaled to 14,477 1-km AGB estimates. Our data fusion...
Article
Full-text available
Rock is exposed at the Earth surface when rates of erosion locally exceed rates of soil production. The thinning of soils and emergence of bedrock has implications spanning geomorphology, ecology and hydrology. Soil-mantled hillslopes are typically shaped by diffusion-like sediment transport processes that act to smooth topography through time, gen...