Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Earth Observation Lab

EnMap Core Science Team

Natural Ecosystems and Ecosystem Transitions

Project period: PHASE I: 01/2010 - 05/2013; PHASE II: 06/2013 - 12/2016


EnMAP (Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program) is a German hyperspectral satellite mission providing high quality hyperspectral image data on a timely and frequent basis. The main objective is to investigate a wide range of ecosystem parameters encompassing agriculture, forestry, soil and geological environments, coastal zones and inland waters. This will significantly increase our understanding of coupled biospheric and geospheric processes and thus, enable the management and ensure the sustainability of our vital resources. The envisaged launch of the EnMAP satellite is 2015.

The scientific focus of the Geomatics Lab of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in EnMAP's Core Science Team is on the analysis of natural ecosystems and their services. These ecosystems are inherently complex and dynamic and it is the aim of our research to describe its heterogeneity and gradual (spatial and temporal) changes by means of satellite hyperspectral data. Data synergies with other sensors and data types are also a focus of the project's research.

More particularly, during the first phase of the project, the shrub encroachment process and resulting ecosystem transitions of a study site in South Portugal has been investigated, as well as its effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services (vegetation biomass). The second phase of the project builds on the previous research and further extends to more natural and complex ecosystems, such as the Brazilian Cerrado savannas.


The project "Natural Ecosystems and Ecosystem Transitions" is followed by project phase III entitled "Monitoring Vegetation under Global Change".

This project runs in parallel with the EnMAP-Box project, aimed at developing a platform-independent software interface designed to handle data from the EnMAP sensor.

Lab members involved
Project website

German Aerospace Centre (DLR) - Project Management Agency (Gefördert durch die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Zuwendungsgeber: Raumfahrt-Agentur des Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. mit Mitteln des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Technologie aufgrund eines Beschlusses des Deutschen Bundestages unter dem Förderkennzeichen 50EE0949).