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Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 712; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030712

Cooling Effects and Regulating Ecosystem Services Provided by Urban Trees—Novel Analysis Approaches Using Urban Tree Cadastre Data

1
Department of Geography, Landscape Ecology & Biogeography, Ruhr-University Bochum, Universitätsstraße 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
2
Research Group Urban & Landscape Ecology, Department of Geography and Geology, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstrasse 34, A-5020 Salzburg, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 28 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 6 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Abstract

The provision of ecosystem services by urban trees is not yet routinely integrated in city administrations’ planting scenarios because the quantification of these services is often time-consuming and expensive. Accounting for these welfare functions can enhance life quality for city dwellers. We present innovative approaches that may appeal to the numerous city administrations that keep tree inventory or cadastre databases of all trees growing on city property for civil law liability reasons. Mining these ubiquitous data can be a feasible alternative to field surveys and improve cost–benefit ratios for ecosystem service assessment. We present methods showing how data gaps (in particular tree height and crown light exposure) in the cadastre data can be filled to estimate ecosystem services with i-Tree Eco. Furthermore, we used the i-Tree Eco output for a noval approach which focus on predicting energy reduction as a proxy for cooling benefits provided by trees. The results for the total publicly owned and managed street trees in our study site of Duisburg (Germany) show that the most important ecosystem services are the removal of particulate matter by 16% of the city emissions and the reduction of 58% of the direct and thermal radiation in the effective range of the trees in the cadastre. View Full-Text
Keywords: tree cadastre data; energy reduction; i-Tree Eco; crown light exposure; tree height equations tree cadastre data; energy reduction; i-Tree Eco; crown light exposure; tree height equations
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Scholz, T.; Hof, A.; Schmitt, T. Cooling Effects and Regulating Ecosystem Services Provided by Urban Trees—Novel Analysis Approaches Using Urban Tree Cadastre Data. Sustainability 2018, 10, 712.

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