Characterizing tree canopy loss using multi-source gis data in central Massachusetts, USA
Despite numerous ecosystem services provided by urban trees, they are continually threatened by combined natural disturbances, invasive species, development and negligent management practices. This research characterizes the amount and cause of tree loss in Worcester, Massachusetts, in the northeast United States, and neighbouring towns between 2008 and 2010 using multi-source remotely sensed imagery and historical land cover maps (1976-2009). Historical land-change analysis reveals that proportional forest cover loss in the Worcester County study area exceeds that of the state by 0.26% per year, 67% of which was driven by the expansion of low-density residential land use. Between 2008 and 2010, 2% of Worcester Countys tree canopy was lost to high-and low-density urban development (47% of the total loss), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) tree removal for Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) eradication (25%), timber harvest (15%) and ice storm damage (6%). The use of multi-source geographic information system (GIS) data to characterize tree canopy loss makes it a flexible and replicable method to monitor urban tree health. © 2013 Taylor and Francis.
Remote Sensing Letters
Hostetler, Andrew E.; Rogan, John; Martin, Deborah; Delauer, Verna; and Oneil-Dunne, Jarlath, "Characterizing tree canopy loss using multi-source gis data in central Massachusetts, USA" (2013). Geography. 351.