Improving future ecosystem benefits through earth observations

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  • Project duration: May 2015 - October 2019
  • Project status: finished

Project funded by

European Commission

ECOPOTENTIAL is a four-year Horizon 2020 project funded by the EU. The project consortium comprises 47 European and international partners spanning research institutes, universities, national and European space agencies, international bodies and SME’s. The main objective of ECOPOTENTIAL is to make Earth Observation (EO) and monitoring data usable for ecosystem modelling and services. The main expected outcomes are to:

  • use EO and in situ environmental monitoring data to characterise the current stage and the ongoing and expected changes in biodiversity, ecosystem functions, processes and services
  • develop data access systems and virtual laboratories to harmonize data and to create an Ecosystem Data Service related to the Copernicus space component
  • provide a full picture of the state and temporal evolution of ecosystems in internationally recognised protected areas
  • address cross-scale ecological interactions and landscape-ecosystem dynamics
  • define the needs of future protected areas and improve evidence-based environmental policy making
  • develop capacity building at all levels through training courses and user take up of EO and monitoring data services and ecosystem models
  • make all data and model results available on common and open platforms coherent with the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) data sharing principles

EURAC is involved in two work packages related to EO Data and Processes Infrastructure as well as EO Data Generation and Harmonization. EURAC provides environmental parameters and contribute to the design, development and validation of a pre-operational multi-modular system named EO Data for Ecosystem Monitoring (EODESM) that allows to map and assess the current state and past changes in ecosystems.

Contact person: Ruth Sonnenschein


Testing the spectral variation hypothesis by using the RAO-Q index to estimate forest biodiversity: effect of spatial resolution
Torresani, M, Rocchini, D, Zebisch, M, Sonnenschein, R, Tonon, G (2018)
Detecting forest structural and species diversity by multi-source remote sensing data
Torresani M, Rocchini D, Zebisch M, Sonnenschein R, Tonon G (2017)

Conference: RSPSoc2017 Annual Conference| Earth & Planets: Making the most of our observations | London : 5.9.2017 - 8.9.2017

Satellite remote sensing of ecosystem functions: opportunities, challenges and way forward
Pettorelli N, Schulte to Buhne H, Tulloch A, Dubois G, Macinnis-Ng C, Queiros AM, Keith DA, Wegmann M, Schrodt F, Stellmes M, Sonnenschein R, Geller GN, Roy S, Somers B, Murray N, Bland L, Geijzendorffer I, Kerr JT, Broszeit S, Leitao PJ, Duncan C, El Serafy G, He KS, Blanchard JL, Lucas R, Mairota P, Webb TJ, Nicholson E (2017)
Journal article
Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation

More information:

Linking animal movement and remote sensing – mapping resource suitability from a remote sensing perspective
Remelgado R, Leutner B, Safi K, Sonnenschein R, Kuebert C, Wegmann M (2017)
Journal article
Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation

More information: ...

Remote sensing based comprehensive monitoring of land cover change in protected areas
Gedon L, Sonnenschein R, Walz A (2017)

Conference: 6th Symposium for Research in Protected Areas | Salzburg | 2.11.2017 - 3.11.2017

Our partners
Project Team
1 - 8

Felix Greifeneder

Team Member


1 - 8


Transboundary Storm Risk and Impact Assessment in Alpine regions

Duration: December 2020 - May 2022Funding: Other EU Funding (EU funding / ...

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Eurac Research is a private research center based in Bolzano (South Tyrol) with researchers from a wide variety of scientific fields who come from all over the globe. Together, through scientific knowledge and research, they share the goal of shaping the future.

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Our research addresses the greatest challenges facing us in the future: people need health, energy, well-functioning political and social systems and an intact environment. These are complex questions, and we are seeking the answers in the interaction between many different disciplines. In so doing, our research work embraces three major themes: regions fit for living in, diversity as a life-enhancing feature, a healthy society.

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