Land cover classification of Watershed 263 using a high categorical resolution system.
Amanda K. Holland, Mary L. Cadenasso, and Steward T.A. Pickett

The Watershed 263 Project presents an opportunity to examine the ecological results of community-based greening and forestry. The watershed covers 907 acres drained by a single storm sewer. We classified the spatial structure of the watershed, using a new urban land cover classification system. The system, developed by M.L. Cadenasso, integrates biological, physical, and socially derived structural features to discriminate patches in the urban landscape. The watershed comprises 132 distinct patches, representing 39 types. There are no closed canopy dominated patches in the watershed, although there are 18 patches dominated by low, open vegetation. The majority of area is covered by connected structures of medium to high density. Surprisingly, areas of high and medium density structures also support medium densities of canopy. Patches classified as having high tree cover only occur in public properties, such as squares. Thirteen % of the area is covered by patches having greater than 10% of their area in bare soil. Virtually all of the area of patches having bare soil represents the connected structures type. Vacant lots, as identified by a Parks & People Foundation field survey, are found in five different patch classes, although the majority are found in the connected structures type. Patches having greater than 10% pavement are concentrated in connected structures patches and in the large patches of mixed footprint structures representing industrial and commercial zones. The complex distribution of patch types and their cover attributes identify biological and physical features that can be seen as opportunities for community greening, community development, and novel designs for reinvigorated housing.

Keywords: land cover, patch dynamics, spatial heterogeneity, watershed 263

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