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Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030674

Street Trees in a Chinese Forest City: Structure, Benefits and Costs

1
CAS Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Management, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 72 Wenhua Road, Shenyang 110164, China
2
College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 January 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

Street trees provide critical ecosystem services and economic benefits that are often disregarded, due to their unknown monetary value. This study analyzed the structural characteristics of Dalian’s street trees and estimated the monetary value of structural and functional benefits by i-Tree Streets. Dalian’s street trees encompassed 28 species and were dominated by Ginkgo biloba, Platanus acerifolia and Sophora japonica, comprising 64.1% of a total of 57,699 trees. The age structure of street trees was distributed somewhat unevenly, with 18% young trees, 56% maturing trees, 25% mature trees and 1% old trees. These trees provide annual functional benefits valued at US$4.9 million and delivered a benefit-cost ratio of 3.2:1. The largest values associated with energy savings and property value were $1.7 million ($29/tree) and $1.5 million ($25/tree), respectively. The net carbon reduction benefits were valued at $935,205 ($16/tree). Smaller benefits resulted from air quality improvement ($381,088 or $7/tree) and stormwater runoff ($459,457 or $8/tree). The structural benefits were valued at $130 million, with the value of $4.5 million for carbon storage. These findings suggested that the benefits produced by street trees were worth the management costs. Our results provide a thorough understanding of the benefits produced by street trees to policy-makers and managers, and help them make informed policies to maximize and sustain the flow of benefits. View Full-Text
Keywords: i-Tree Streets; ecosystem services; functional value; structural value; benefit-cost ratio i-Tree Streets; ecosystem services; functional value; structural value; benefit-cost ratio
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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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Wang, X.; Yao, J.; Yu, S.; Miao, C.; Chen, W.; He, X. Street Trees in a Chinese Forest City: Structure, Benefits and Costs. Sustainability 2018, 10, 674.

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