Functional biogeography may bridge a gap between field-based biodiversity information and satellite-based Earth system studies, thereby supporting conservation plans to protect more species and their contributions to ecosystem functioning.We used airborne laser-guided imaging spectroscopy with environmental modeling to derive large-scale, multivariate forest canopy functional trait maps of the Peruvian Andes-to-Amazon biodiversity hotspot. Seven mapped canopy traits revealed functional variation in a geospatial pattern explained by geology, topography, hydrology, and climate. Clustering of canopy traits yielded a map of forest beta functional diversity for land-use analysis. Up to 53% of each mapped, functionally distinct forest presents an opportunity for new conservation action. Mapping functional diversity advances our understanding of the biosphere to conserve more biodiversity in the face of land use and climate change.
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