Document Type

Peer Reviewed/Refereed Publication

Publication Date


Publication Title

Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation


Biological Science


Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology


Two prominent limitations of species distribution models (SDMs) are spatial biases in existing occurrence data and a lack of spatially explicit predictor variables to fully capture habitat characteristics of species. Can existing and emerging remote sensing technologies meet these challenges and improve future SDMs? We believe so. Novel products derived from multispectral and hyperspectral sensors, as well as future Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and RADAR missions, may play a key role in improving model performance. In this perspective piece, we demonstrate how modern sensors onboard satellites, planes and unmanned aerial vehicles are revolutionizing the way we can detect and monitor both plant and animal species in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems as well as allowing the emergence of novel predictor variables appropriate for species distribution modeling. We hope this interdisciplinary perspective will motivate ecologists, remote sensing experts and modelers to work together for developing a more refined SDM framework in the near future.


This is a peer-reviewed article published by Wiley in Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, available at

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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Biology Commons



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