Drones are helping scientists check the health of Antarctic mosses, revealing clues on the pace of climate change.
Mosses are sensitive to even minor changes in their living conditions, and scientists traditionally tramped through difficult terrain to collect data on them.
Using the specially-designed drones is faster, kinder to the environment and delivers detailed images that satellite imagery cannot match.
Drones also allow to map much larger areas than previously possible, showing how the moss health responds to meltwater in real time.
These methods could be used for similar research in other harsh environments like desert or alpine regions.
Authors: Zbyněk Malenovský, Researcher in Remote Sensing of Vegetation, University of Tasmania