Ecological Research and Analysis

FNAI scientists’ extensive personal knowledge of Florida's natural history coupled with our skills in quantitative analysis allow us to address complex management questions concerning the interaction of rare species with their habitats.

LIDAR image A ground based lidar point cloud of a wet flatwoods longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) stand at Tyndall Air Force Base. The color gradient represents the height of returns in meters. We generated the image using the TreeLS package in R. Generating millions of points in a matter of minutes, we can use these point clouds to quantify stand structure, allowing for a more efficient, precise, and objective alternative to traditional visual estimates. Ground-based lidar has numerous applications including assessing plant community composition, species richness and diversity, wildlife habitat characteristics, and monitoring forest changes following disturbance events such as wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes.