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Modeling the Impact of Urban Landscape Change on Urban Wetlands Using Similarity Weighted Instance-Based Machine Learning and Markov Model

Department of Social Sciences, College of Liberal & Fine Arts, Tarleton State University, 1333 W Washington St, Stephenville, TX 76402, USA
Department of Geosciences, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 5100 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2223;
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF [2672 KB, uploaded 1 December 2017]


Urban wetlands play important roles in providing several ecosystem services that support the urban environment. As such, scientists have studied them to understand the urban processes that lead to their continued decline. However, little attention has been given to the drivers of land-use change that may affect this fragile ecosystem in the future. Understanding this could serve as a critical step towards urban wetland management and sustainability. In this study, we utilized an integrated approach that combined Similarity Weighted Instance-based Machine Learning and Markov chain, both embedded in the IDRISI Land Change Modeler to simulate change in the landscape of three watersheds in the Kansas City Metropolitan area. The purpose was to assess the possible future impacts of urban expansion-induced landscape change on wetlands within the study area, using a retrospective approach. To achieve this, classified SPOT satellite data covering the three watersheds were used to generate historical land cover maps of the study area between 1992 and 2010 to analyze changes to the landscape. In addition, the study identified several drivers of land change associated with the historical change process in the study area, and accounted for their role in the modeling process. On this basis, the study made the prediction of urban landscape transformation to the end date of 2014. The prediction result was verified with a more accurate map that was derived from independently classifying a 2014 SPOT image of the study area. Results from this study show that impervious surfaces, which were used as an index of urban expansion, may increase by approximately the same magnitude experienced historically, which may result in a small but significant loss of wetlands and other land cover classes within the study area. View Full-Text
Keywords: landscape change; Markov chain; similarity weighted; urbanization; urban wetlands landscape change; Markov chain; similarity weighted; urbanization; urban wetlands

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Zubair, O.A.; Ji, W.; Weilert, T.E. Modeling the Impact of Urban Landscape Change on Urban Wetlands Using Similarity Weighted Instance-Based Machine Learning and Markov Model. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2223.

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