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Drones help scientists check the health of Antarctic mosses, revealing climate change clues

Mosses are sensitive to even minor changes in their living conditions, and scientists traditionally tramped through difficult terrain to collect data on them.
Mosses are sensitive to even minor changes in their living conditions. Sharon Robinson, Author provided

Using the specially designed drones is faster, kinder to the environment and delivers detailed images that satellite imagery cannot match.

Drones also allow mapping of much larger areas than previously possible, showing how the moss health responds to meltwater in real time.

These methods could be used for similar research in other harsh environments like desert or alpine regions.


The Conversation Africa
The Conversation Africa is an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community. Its aim is to promote better understanding of current affairs and complex issues, and allow for a better quality of public discourse and conversation.
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About the author

Zbynek Malenovský is a researcher in remote sensing of vegetation, University of Tasmania. Arko Lucieer is an associate professor in remote sensing, University of Tasmania.