Fuzzy vs. Crisp Land Cover Classification of Satellite Imagery for the Identification of Savanna Plant Communities of the Oak Openings Region of NW Ohio and SE Michigan

The Oak Openings Region of Northwest Ohio is a unique ecosystem harboring a number of rare and endangered plant and animal species. Many of these plants and animals rely on savanna habitats. The degradation of this ecosystem has had a significant impact on these species. In recent years, there has been an effort not only to conserve this ecosystem but also to restore degraded areas within it. This study seeks to evaluate the change in savanna coverage within the Oak Openings from 1984 to 2000 by analyzing Landsat satellite data. To evaluate this change, I performed two land cover classifications (one of 1984 and one of 2000). I then did a change detection highlighting the areas where savanna coverage has changed. This research show a 10% increase in savanna cover from July 13,1984 to July 1, 2000. This was done by performing hard classifications. In the future I will be evaluating the change in savanna cover though the use of fuzzy classifications.

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