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Forests 2018, 9(5), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9050272

Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Urban Forest Basal Area under China’s Rapid Urban Expansion and Greening: Implications for Urban Green Infrastructure Management

Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
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Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Growth and Ecosystem Services of Urban Trees)
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Abstract

Urban forest (UF) basal area is an important parameter of UF structures, which can influence the functions of the UF ecosystem. However, the spatio-temporal pattern of the basal area in a given UF in regions under rapid urbanization and greening is still not well documented. Our study explores the potential of estimating spatio-temporal UF basal area by using Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery. In our study, the predicting model was established to produce spatiotemporal maps of the urban forest basal area index in Changchun, China for the years 1984, 1995, 2005, and 2014. Our results showed that urban forests became more and more fragmented due to rapid urbanization from 1984 to 1995. Along with rapid urban greening after 1995, urban forest patches became larger and larger, creating a more homogeneous landscape. Urban forest and its basal area in the whole study area increased gradually from 1984 to 2014, especially in the outer belts of the city with urban sprawl. UF basal area was 27.3 × 103 m2, 41.3 × 103 m2, 45.8 × 103 m2, and 65.1 × 103 m2 of the entire study area for the year 1984, 1995, 2005, and 2014, respectively. The class distribution of the UF basal area index was skewed toward low values across all four years. In contrast, the frequency of a higher UF basal area index increased gradually from 1984 to 2014. Besides, the UF basal area index showed a decreasing trend along the gradient from suburban areas to urban center areas. Our results demonstrate the capability of TM remote sensing for understanding spatio-temporal changing patterns of UF basal area under China’s rapid urban expansion and greening. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban forest; urbanization; sampling plots; Landsat TM; basal area urban forest; urbanization; sampling plots; Landsat TM; basal area
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Ren, Z.; He, X.; Zheng, H.; Wei, H. Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Urban Forest Basal Area under China’s Rapid Urban Expansion and Greening: Implications for Urban Green Infrastructure Management. Forests 2018, 9, 272.

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