by S Myeong, DJ Nowak, MJ Duggin
Remote Sensing of Environment 101:277-2822006
Quantifying the carbon stored in urban trees is important for understanding the contribution of urban forests to reducing greenhouse gases and for improving management and planning. Traditionally, data have been obtained from field sampling and manually, from aerial imagery. In this study, a quicker, more cost-effective method was developed to estimate carbon storage and measure changes over time. Landsat images covering Syracuse, NY, from 1985, 1992, and 1999 were used, and a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) layer was generated. From this a regression equation was created to quantify the carbon storage. Total carbon storage in Syracuse was fairly stable over the study period (approximately 150,000 t C). This value was only 0.2% different from field estimates, suggesting that this quantification method is appropriate for large-scale quantification.