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Monitoring restored tropical forest diversity and structure throughUAV-borne

Remote sensors, onboard orbital platforms, aircraft, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have emerged as a promising technology to enhance our understanding of changes in ecosystem composition, structure, and function of forests, offering multi-scale monitoring of forest restoration. UAV systems can generate highresolution images that provide accurate information on forest ecosystems to aid decision-making in restoration projects. However, UAV technological advances have outpaced practical application; thus, we explored combining UAV-borne lidar and hyperspectral data to evaluate the diversity and structure of restoration plantings. We developed novel analytical approaches to assess twelve 13-year-old restoration plots experimentally established with 20, 60 or 120 native tree species in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We assessed (1) the congruence and complementarity of lidar and hyperspectral-derived variables, (2) their ability to distinguish tree richness levels and (3) their ability to predict aboveground biomass (AGB).

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