Selecting tree species for urban greening requires a good understanding of the performance of the species under different types of disturbances. However, information on performances of many species is still not available today. In this study, we used an extensive data set gathered through a systematic literature review to analyze the impacts of five major types of disturbances on urban tree species in China. Our results showed that there were distinctive spatial patterns of occurrences of these disturbances on urban trees. Urban trees in north China were mainly disturbed by low temperature, snow, and wind. In central China, low and high temperatures were major disturbances. Urban trees in south China suffered greatly from low temperature and wind. Pests and disease were reported more frequently in east China, where most cities are located. Of the 1010 taxa of trees reported over the 120 cities in the study—which included 723 taxa identified to the species level, 264 identified to the sub-species level, and 23 identified to the genus level—the impacts of these disturbances varied widely. We recommend that cities reduce or avoid the use of tree species that perform poorly under these disturbances.
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