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Assisted Migration 2023

Drone flight over federal government property within the MBBR's core zone to determine health of trees.

June 20, 2023

Assisted Migration 2023

As part of his assisted migration research, Dr. Cuauhtémoc Sáenz-Romero included a pilot drone flight over the Federal Government property inside the Core Zone of the MBBR. This high-altitude site is fully dominated by oyamels (Abies religiosa). The flight was conducted by José Luis Gallardo-Salazar, PhD student under the supervision of Dr. Sáenz-Romero and was funded by MBF & FOCEN (Conservation of the Neovolcanic Axis Fund).

Using a combination of visual (RGB-Red, Green, Blue) and multispectral cameras, José Luis estimated the vigor of the trees and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for each tree. The diagnostic helped identify the standing dead trees (2 %), the extremely stressed trees (brownish foliage, 5 %), the apparently stressed trees (green-yellowish foliage, 44 %) and the healthy trees (49 %). Although on-ground scoring sampling to validate the imagery interpretation is still needed, the number of stressed trees is alarming. This is especially concerning since the flight was done in October 2022, at the end of the rainy season. MBF is pleased to support this necessary research to improve conservation efforts in the face of climate change.

Dr. Sáenz and his colleagues are also continuing their nurse plant experiments training communities who are collaborating with them as shown in the video below.

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