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BioS – Monitoring and modeling of the critical balance of biomass and biodiversity in Siberia using remote sensing methods.
‘Pro Nachhaltigkeit’, TU Berlin (internal research funding) and supported by AWI
Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research Potsdam Research Unit Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU), Jakutsk, Russland
21.07.2021 – 20.10.2022
Research Associate:
Robert Jackisch
Project Lead:
Prof. Dr. Birgit Kleinschmit Dr. Michael Förster
DJI M300 UAV with LiDAR sensor in burned forest stand, Yakutia


The ecosystems of the Siberian boreal forests are crucial for feedbacks with climate and material cycles, for biodiversity, and for humanity. With the heat waves and unprecedented intense forest fires of the past years up to the high latitudes manifest a continuous change of the subarctic and arctic ecosystems. At the same time, the shifting tree line threatens many plant and animal species of the Arctic tundra. Balancing carbon storage and protection of these northern biodiversity hotspots is one of the major challenges facing the subarctic and arctic regions in the coming decades.                

Forest structure and its vitality is a critical component in assessing whether a forest will function as a carbon sink under a change of climate and fire regimes. Detailed spectral and 3D structural information on successional stages in Siberian forests is largely lacking and still underrepresented in current research due to remoteness and limited accessibility. The study of vegetation structural and biophysical characteristics with high-resolution data using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) offers opportunities to complement current remote sensing methods in forest mapping. UAV-based, high-resolution remote sensing can map species-specific vegetation structure and provides insights for understanding vegetation characteristics and dynamics following fire events. Here, UAV-based LiDAR sensors and multispectral systems are primarily used.

The project is carried out at the TU Berlin in equal collaboration with the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research Potsdam and in collaboration with the Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk, Russia. AWI supports BioS with logistics and high-resolution UAV data from previous expeditions. NEFU provides local expertise in the study area of the Yakutia region.

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