Date of Award

Summer 8-7-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Andrew Reinmann

Second Advisor

Dr. Wenge Ni-meister

Academic Program Adviser

Dr. Sean Ahearn


Urban land cover contributes to higher temperatures in urban areas compared to adjacent rural areas, which can cause an earlier start of the growing season for urban vegetation. Variations in plant community characteristics between urban and rural areas also produce intra-urban differences in vegetation phenophases, although few studies have investigated differences in phenology between plant functional types in multiple urban environments. In this study I used an exploratory analysis based on the Landsat Phenology Algorithm and weather station data to quantify differences in leaf-onset dates for different plant functional types in the New York City Metropolitan Area. The results demonstrate that Landsat can be used to identify urban-rural variations in leaf-onset for different plant functional types, and that these variations are driven by different climate variables depending on plant functional type. Furthermore, results from such analyses suggest that long-term changes in leaf onset vary across different plant functional types—i.e., grasslands may be advancing at a different rate than forests.



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