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Aerial pictures reveal climate change

01 August 2013

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As a result of climate change, certain undesirable aquatic plants are starting to invade German water bodies. Even popular recreation areas like Lake Starnberg have been affected, leading to a growing need to monitor the spread of these plants. Up to now, regular monitoring has proven to be a costly process. But in a new approach, researchers at Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) have developed a quicker and less expensive method.

This process does produce highly detailed information, but it requires a lot of effort. Doctoral students from TUM's Limnological Research Station in Iffeldorf have carried out research on this topic for their dissertations. The result of their work is a new process that will save both time and money.

"This new idea involves replacing some of the diving effort with high-resolution aerial and satellite images," explains project supervisor Dr. Thomas Schneider. "In order to draw conclusions on plant growth from the imagery produced, we measure reflectance. Each plant species reflects the incident light in a specific way, depending on its pigmentation and structure."

Source: Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM)