Schaepman Michael

A plant functional diversity approach in a regional ecosystem service assessment of different grasslands
Ein funktioneller Pflanzendiversität-Ansatz bei der regionalen Ökosystemdienstleistungsbewertung von Wiesen und Weiden

Project Number: CH-5991
Project Type: Dissertation
Project Duration: 01/02/2013 - 12/31/2021 project completed
Funding Source: other ,
Leading Institution: University of Zürich
Project Leader: Prof. Michael Schaepman
Head Remote Sensing Laboratories (RSL)
Geographisches Institut - Remote Sensing Lab.
Universität Zürich
Winterthurerstr. 190
8057 Zürich
Phone: +41 (0) 44 635 51 60 ; +41 (0) 44 635 51 61
FAX: +41 (0) 44 635 68 48
e-Mail: michael.schaepman(at)

related to this project.
for which the project has a relevance.

Research Areas:


plant functional diverstiy, ecosystem service, grassland

In the submitted thesis opportunities were highlighted and challenges tackled in remote sensing of grassland biodiversity. Thereby, understanding the particularities of the grassland ecosystems under observation and the implication of spatial, spectral, and temporal resolutions of optical remote sensing on plant diversity estimations was essential to bridge the work of ecologists and remote sensing specialists. The findings of the thesis are crucial to develop systematic measurements and operational missions to monitor biodiversity remotely. The developed and implemented methods were used to estimate plant biodiversity in the Swiss National Park and its surroundings.The findings offer new insights into the debate on whether a non-intervention policy, i.e., long-term protection endeavour, that allows natural processes to take their course, is a valuable management strategy to increase biodiversity.

Leading questions:
1. How is the spectral response of grassland communities influenced by different functional diversity metrics of plants? Or in other words, can imaging spectroscopy data be used to quantify plant functional diversity indices of heterogeneous grassland? 2. How do two different passive sensors behave in detecting plant functional diversity? 3. How do functional traits respond to different grassland managements and how do the traits change over the course of the growing season? 4. Which management scheme produces the highest functional diversity across both spatial and temporal scales? 5. Are functional diversity pattern on a landscape scale influencing the ecosystem service delivery? 6. What are the different outcomes of the functional diversity compared with a classical Land-cover/Land-use based approach in assessing ecosystem services?

List of publications

Christian Rossi, Mathias Kneubühler, Martin Schütz, Michael E. Schaepman, Rudolf M. Haller, Anita C. Risch, 2021. Remote sensing of spectral diversity: A new methodological approach to account for spatio-temporal dissimilarities between plant communities. Ecological Indicators, Volume 130, 108106,

Christian Rossi, Mathias Kneubühler, Martin Schütz, Michael E. Schaepman, Rudolf M. Haller, Anita C. Risch, 2021. Spatial resolution, spectral metrics and biomass are keyaspects in estimating plant species richness from spectraldiversity in species-rich grasslands. Remote Sensing of Ecology and Conservation,

Präsentation an Tagung Parkforschung, 15.10.21 im Entlebuch:
Ross, C., 2021: Auswirkungen von langfristigen Schutzbestrebungen: Fernerkundung der Grasland-Diversität. Präsentation an Tagung Parkforschung, 15.10.2021, erhältlich bei

Rossi, Ch. 2022. Remote sensing of grassland biodiversity. Dissertation. Zürich. pdf article

Last update: 12/21/22
Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2024)
Update the data of project: CH-5991

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