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The Role of the Community Gardens in Carbon Sequestration in Austin, TX

Authors: Daria Andrievskikh*, Texas State University - San Marcos, Nate Currit, Texas State University at San Marcos
Topics: Remote Sensing, Agricultural Geography, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: carbon sequestration, community gardens, net primary productivity, NDVI, ECOSTRESS, PlanetScope
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Researchers describe the process of carbon sequestration as a way to mitigate the impacts of global warming (Tripathi et al, 2010, Kuittinen et al 2016). Urban green spaces provide ecosystem services in the mitigation of urban greenhouse gases emissions that are not yet to be investigated enough (Kuittinen et al 2016). Community gardens as a type of an urban green space (Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency) represent vacant lots in urban areas with public or private land ownership that community members use for urban agriculture (Schukoske, 2000). This study analyzes the efficacy of community gardens through the environmental dimension as they represent sustainable practices that benefit both people and ecosystems. This research aims to: 1) calculate carbon uptake by the community gardens in Austin, TX, by applying the algorithms for calculating carbon sequestration from the previous research (Tripathi et al 2010; Field et al 1995, Potter et al 1993), and 2) compare the carbon uptake between a growing season and a non-growing season to show the environmental benefits of gardening. The amount of absorbed carbon dioxide depends on the amount of plants’ biomass, which can be measured using the vegetation indexes, such as Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) (Christensen et al, 1993). Two sources of remote sensing data were utilized: the ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) and the PlanetScope. This study attempts to estimate carbon sequestration on a small scale of a garden by utilizing the high resolution satellite imagery.

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