Remote sensing, geographic information systems, and modeling have combined to produce a virtual explosion of growth in ecological investigations and applications that are explicitly spatial and temporal. Of all remotely sensed data, those acquired by Landsat sensors have played the most pivotal role in spatial and temporal scaling. Modern terrestrial ecology relies on remote sensing for modeling biogeochemical cycles and for characterizing land cover, vegetation biophysical attributes, forest structure, and fragmentation in relation to biodiversity. Given the more than 30-year record of Landsat data, mapping land and vegetation cover change and using the derived surfaces in ecological models is becoming commonplace. In this article, we summarize this large body of work, highlighting the unique role of Landsat.
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Vol. 54 • No. 6