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Open AccessArticle

Mutual Influences of Urban Microclimate and Urban Trees: An Investigation of Phenology and Cooling Capacity

1
Department of Landscape Change and Management, Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development, 01217 Dresden, Germany
2
Department of Geography and Geology, University of Salzburg, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(7), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10070533
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 18 June 2019 / Accepted: 21 June 2019 / Published: 26 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Growth and Ecosystem Services of Urban Trees)
This paper presents an empirical study on urban tree growth and regulating ecosystem services along an urban heat island (UHI) intensity gradient. The UHI effect on the length of the growing season and the association of cooling and shading with species, age, and size of trees was studied in Salzburg, Austria. Results show that areas with a low UHI intensity differed from areas with a medium or high UHI intensity significantly in three points: their bud break began later, the leaf discoloration took longer, and the growing season was shorter. After leaves have developed, trees cool the surface throughout the whole growing season by casting shadows. On average, the surfaces in the crown shade were 12.2 °C cooler than those in the sun. The tree characteristics had different effects on the cooling performance. In addition to tree height and trunk circumference, age was especially closely related to surface cooling. If a tree’s cooling capacity is to be estimated, tree age is the most suitable measure, also with respect to its assessment effort. Practitioners are advised to consider the different UHI intensities when maintaining or enhancing public greenery. The cooling capacity of tall, old trees is needed especially in areas with a high UHI intensity. In the future, species differences should be examined to determine the best adapted species for the different UHI intensities. The present results can be the basis for modeling future mutual influences of microclimate and urban trees. View Full-Text
Keywords: growing season; bud break; surface temperature; urban heat island; urban microclimate; urban trees growing season; bud break; surface temperature; urban heat island; urban microclimate; urban trees
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Stanley, C.H.; Helletsgruber, C.; Hof, A. Mutual Influences of Urban Microclimate and Urban Trees: An Investigation of Phenology and Cooling Capacity. Forests 2019, 10, 533.

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