Remote sensing of geodiversity as a link to biodiversity
Issue: Geodiversity (i.e., the variation in Earth's abiotic processes and features) has strong effects on biodiversity patterns. However, major gaps remain in our under‐ standing of how relationships between biodiversity and geodiversity vary over space and time. Biodiversity data are globally sparse and concentrated in particular regions. In contrast, many forms of geodiversity can be measured continuously across the globe with satellite remote sensing. Satellite remote sensing directly measures envi‐ ronmental variables with grain sizes as small as tens of metres and can therefore elucidate biodiversity–geodiversity relationships across scales. Evidence: We show how one important geodiversity variable, elevation, relates to alpha, beta and gamma taxonomic diversity of trees across spatial scales. We use el‐ evation from NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and c. 16,000 Forest Inventory and Analysis plots to quantify spatial scaling relationships between biodi‐ versity and geodiversity with generalized linear models (for alpha and gamma diver‐ sity) and beta regression (for beta diversity) across five spatial grains ranging from 5 to 100 km. We illustrate different relationships depending on the form of diversity; beta and gamma diversity show the strongest relationship with variation in elevation.