Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2010 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Assessing spatiotemporal variations of greenness in the Baltimore-Washington corridor area
Tang, Junmei
Co-Authors: Fang Chen, and Stuart S. Schwartz

Abstract: Rapid urbanization has profoundly transformed the spatial pattern and ecological function of urban greenspaces. To understand the ecological function of urban greenspaces and how they change during urbanization, it is essential to investigate their landscape structures which relate to the energy distribution, materials configuration, and species distribution in urban ecosystems. This paper aims to characterize and analyze the urban greenness change in the Baltimore-Washington corridor area. The general objectives for this study are: 1) to identify and analyze the urban greenness pattern and its changes, 2) to interpret and associate the change in urban greenness structure within its zoning area, 3) to characterize and discuss the influence of urbanization on the spatial distribution and temporal dynamic of urban green spaces. The linear spectral mixture analysis (LSMA) was adopted to extract the fraction maps of four endmembers (imperviousness, grassland, woodland, and soil) from Landsat Thematic Mapper from 1986 to 2004. The greenness dynamics were derived based on the each two successive fraction maps and fuzzy set concepts. We also performed a further greenness analysis for each planning zone and associated it with the related socioeconomic data. The research results indicate that sub-pixel information of urban greenness offers a more detailed and realistic greenness map than the traditional hard classification. The combination of remote sensing data and GIS zoning data provides us a comprehensive track on the pattern and process of urban greenspaces, as well as the unique dataset for other researcher to further evaluate the socioeconomic function of urban greenspace.