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Ecological studies in tropical forests have long been plagued by difficulties associated with sampling the crowns of large canopy trees and large inaccessible regions, such as the Amazon basin. Recent advances in remote sensing have overcome some of these obstacles, enabling progress towards tackling difficult ecological problems. Breakthroughs have helped transform the dialog between ecology and remote sensing, generating new regional perspectives on key environmental gradients and species assemblages with ecologically relevant measures such as canopy nutrient and moisture content, crown area, leaf-level drought responses, woody tissue and surface litter abundance, phenological patterns, and land-cover transitions. Issues that we address here include forest response to altered precipitation regimes, regional disturbance and land-use patterns, invasive species and landscape carbon balance

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