The Tropical Forest Degradation Experiment (FODEX) and CongoPeat

Edward Mitchard, Iain McNicol
The Tropical Forest Degradation Experiment (FODEX) and CongoPeat
This is a Full Scientific Report resulting from NERC Geophysical Equipment Facility Loan 1109, principal investigator Prof Edward Mitchard.


The purpose of Loan 1109 was to support the deployment of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) collecting LiDAR data and digital aerial photographs (DAP) over remote tropical forests and peatlands in the Republic of Congo, Peru and Gabon. These data were obtained as part of two projects entitled CongoPeat and FODEX (Tropical Forest Degradation Experiment), with data collection taking place in February 2019 and June - July 2019, respectively. The aim of the CongoPeat campaign was to measure changes in surface elevation across sections of the world’s largest tropical peatland complex in the Congo Basin, providing clues to its formation and functioning. The LiDAR data revealed a clear rise in surface elevation, thus indicating a domed structure, which suggests the peatland is rain-fed.