Estimating net primary production of turfgrass in an urban-suburban landscape with quickbird imagery

Jindong Wu, Marvin E. Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Vegetation is a basic component of urban-suburban environments with significant area coverage. As a major vegetation type in US cities, urban turfgrass provides a range of important ecological services. This study examined the biological carbon fixation of turfgrass in a typical residential neighborhood by linking ground-based measurements, high resolution satellite remote sensing, and ecological modeling. The spatial distribution of turfgrass and its vegetative conditions were mapped with QuickBird satellite imagery. The significant amount of shadows existing in the imagery were detected and removed by taking advantage of the high radiometric resolution of the data. A remote sensing-driven production efficiency model was developed and parameterized with field biophysical measurements to estimate annual net primary production of turfgrass. The results indicated that turfgrass accounted for 38% of land cover in the study area. Turfgrass assimilated 0-1,301 g·C·m -2·yr -1 depending on vegetative conditions and management intensity. The average annual net primary production per unit turfgrass cover by golf course grass (1,100.5 g·C·m -2) was much higher than that by regular lawn grass (771.2 g·C·m -2). However, lawn grass contributed more to the total net primary production than golf course grass due to its larger area coverage, although with higher spatial variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-866
Number of pages18
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Carbon cycle
  • High resolution
  • Modeling
  • Urban vegetation


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