29 Dec '14, 5am

Google Earth used to identify environmentally important termite mounds

Google Earth used to identify environmentally important termite mounds

In woodland and savannah areas, certain termite species play a critical environmental role due to the mounds they build. These mounds can be used as fertilizer to induce new ecosystems, and the termites themselves can be studied as biological indicators of human-caused degradation. Detecting the amount and distribution of these mounds throughout an area can provide importance insight on the overall health of an environment. However, detecting the mounds on the ground can be a costly and time-consuming activity. Scientists may have come up with a solution. Recent research published in mongabay.com's open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science , uses free Google Earth aerial images to detect these mounds with promising results. Carried out in the mining city of Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the author's hoped to gain a sense of smaller areas where mor...

Full article: http://news.mongabay.com/2014/1217-wilson-termite-mounds-...

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