E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Growth and Ecosystem Services of Urban Trees"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Inventory, Quantitative Methods and Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Thomas Rötzer

Technical University of Munich, Research Department of Ecology & Ecosystem Management, Chair for Forest Growth and Yield Science, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, D-85354 Freising, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Forest stand growth dynamics, Process based growth models for trees and forests, Urban forestry, Urban tree growth and ecosystem services, Climate change and tree growth, Influence of drought on tree and forest stand growth

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The studies of Kauppi et al. (2014), Fang et al. (2014), and Pretzsch et al. (2014) indicate an accelerated growth of forest trees, induced by ongoing climate change. Similar trends were recently found for urban trees in major cities worldwide.

Numerous studies can be found that demonstrate the substantial effects of climate change and the urban heat island effect (UHI) on plant growth. The combining effects of increasing temperatures, changed precipitation patterns, and extended growing season lengths in addition with increasing N-deposition and higher CO2 concentrations can increase but also reduce plant growth. Closely related to this, the multiple functions and services provided by urban trees may be modified.

Urban trees generate numerous ecosystem services, including carbon storage, mitigation of the heat island effect, reduction of rainwater runoff, pollutant filtering, recreation effects, shading, and cooling. Those ecosystem services are often closely associated with the species, structure, age and size of the tree as well as with a tree’s vitality. Therefore, greening cities and particularly planting trees seem to be an effective option to mitigate climate change and the UHI.

The focus of this Special Issue is to underline the importance of trees as part of the urban green for major cities in all climate zones. We encourage topics on empirical as well as on modelling studies of urban tree growth and their services and disservices in cities worldwide. Submissions on subjects concerning the magnitudes, patterns and the processes of microclimatic regulation through urban trees are welcome. Topics for manuscripts may further include:

Dynamics, structure and functions of urban tree growth,

Influence of climate and climate change on urban tree growth, urban species composition, carbon storage, and biodiversity,

Ways to improve the quality of life, conservation of biodiversity, adaptation and mitigation to climate change in major cities by urban trees

Quantifying urban tree growth, ecosystem services and disservices in major city worldwide.

Dr. Thomas Rötzer
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • urban tree growth
  • ecosystem services
  • urban heat island effect
  • climate change
  • biodiversity
  • carbon storage
  • evapotranspirational cooling
  • pollutants

Published Papers (7 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-7
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle Structure, Diversity, and Carbon Stocks of the Tree Community of Kumasi, Ghana
Forests 2018, 9(9), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090519
Received: 23 June 2018 / Revised: 6 August 2018 / Accepted: 8 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5980 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban forestry has the potential to address many urban environmental and sustainability challenges. Yet in Africa, urban forest characterization and its potential to contribute to human wellbeing are often neglected or restrained. This paper describes the structure, diversity, and composition of an urban [...] Read more.
Urban forestry has the potential to address many urban environmental and sustainability challenges. Yet in Africa, urban forest characterization and its potential to contribute to human wellbeing are often neglected or restrained. This paper describes the structure, diversity, and composition of an urban forest and its potential to store carbon as a means of climate change mitigation and adaptation in Kumasi. The vegetation inventory included a survey of 470,100-m2 plots based on a stratified random sampling technique and six streets ranging from 50 m to 1 km. A total of 3757 trees, comprising 176 species and 46 families, were enumerated. Tree abundance and species richness were left skewed and unimodally distributed based on diameter at breast height (DBH). Trees in the diameter classes >60 cm together had the lowest species richness (17%) and abundance (9%), yet contributed more than 50% of the total carbon stored in trees within the city. Overall, about 1.2 million tonnes of carbon is captured in aboveground components of trees in Kumasi, with a mean of 228 t C ha−1. Tree density, DBH, height, basal area, aboveground carbon storage, and species richness were significantly different among green spaces (p < 0.05). The diversity was also significantly different among urban zones (p < 0.0005). The DBH distribution of trees followed a modified reverse J-shaped model. The urban forest structure and composition is quite unique. The practice of urban forestry has the potential to conserve biological diversity and combat climate change. The introduction of policies and actions to support the expansion of urban forest cover and diversity is widely encouraged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Growth and Ecosystem Services of Urban Trees)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Preferences of Tourists for the Service Quality of Taichung Calligraphy Greenway in Taiwan
Forests 2018, 9(8), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9080462
Received: 12 July 2018 / Revised: 24 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
PDF Full-text (5800 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study explores preferences for a set of attributes that characterize the recreational value of Calligraphy Greenway, the most notable greenbelt in Taichung City, Taiwan. As an urban green space, the Calligraphy Greenway has its own recreational attributes and visitors’ preferences. This study [...] Read more.
This study explores preferences for a set of attributes that characterize the recreational value of Calligraphy Greenway, the most notable greenbelt in Taichung City, Taiwan. As an urban green space, the Calligraphy Greenway has its own recreational attributes and visitors’ preferences. This study uses the choice experiment method to determine visitors’ preference levels for five major attributes to improve the recreational quality. On average, each visitor visited there 9.15 times in the past year and spent 2.37 h per visit. Of the five recreational attributes, satisfaction with recreational activity opportunities had the highest score and satisfaction with cultural landscape resources had the lowest score. The importance is ranked in the order of recreational service quality, total recreational cost, environmental landscape resources, cultural landscape resources and recreational activity opportunities. Considering difference of groups, female visitors were more concerned with cost and activities but male visitors were more concerned with service quality and natural/cultural landscape resources. Local visitors were more concerned with cost and activities but non-local visitors were more concerned with environmental/cultural landscape resources. Both were concerned with service quality. Based on the results, this study makes the following recommendations: cultural landscape resources and quality of recreational services and facilities should be improved and more complete interpretative educational guidance should be provided to increase visitors’ willingness to visit. Additionally, it is suggested to set up various districts to cater for preferences of different visitor groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Growth and Ecosystem Services of Urban Trees)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Urban Park Systems to Support Sustainability: The Role of Urban Park Systems in Hot Arid Urban Climates
Forests 2018, 9(7), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070439
Received: 18 June 2018 / Revised: 12 July 2018 / Accepted: 20 July 2018 / Published: 22 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3954 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Quantifying ecosystem services in urban areas is complex. However, existing ecosystem service typologies and ecosystem modeling can provide a means towards understanding some key biophysical links between urban forests and ecosystem services. This project addresses broader concepts of sustainability by assessing the urban [...] Read more.
Quantifying ecosystem services in urban areas is complex. However, existing ecosystem service typologies and ecosystem modeling can provide a means towards understanding some key biophysical links between urban forests and ecosystem services. This project addresses broader concepts of sustainability by assessing the urban park system in Phoenix, Arizona’s hot urban climate. This project aims to quantify and demonstrate the multiple ecosystem services provided by Phoenix’s green infrastructure (i.e., urban park system), including its air pollution removal values, carbon sequestration and storage, avoided runoff, structural value, and the energy savings it provides for city residents. Modeling of ecosystem services of the urban park system revealed around 517,000 trees within the system, representing a 7.20% tree cover. These trees remove about 3630 tons (t) of carbon (at an associated value of $285,000) and about 272 t of air pollutants (at an associated value of $1.16 million) every year. Trees within Phoenix’s urban park system are estimated to reduce annual residential energy costs by $106,000 and their structural value is estimated at $692 million. The findings of this research will increase our knowledge of the value of green infrastructure services provided by different types of urban vegetation and assist in the future design, planning and management of green infrastructure in cities. Thus, this study has implications for both policy and practice, contributing to a better understanding of the multiple benefits of green infrastructure and improving the design of green spaces in hot arid urban climates around the globe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Growth and Ecosystem Services of Urban Trees)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Influence of Individual-Specific Plant Parameters and Species Composition on the Allergenic Potential of Urban Green Spaces
Forests 2018, 9(6), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060284
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 19 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2428 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Green planning focusses on specific site requirements such as temperature tolerance or aesthetics as crucial criteria in the choice of plants. The allergenicity of plants, however, is often neglected. Cariñanos et al. (2014; Landscape and Urban Planning, 123: 134–144) developed the Urban Green [...] Read more.
Green planning focusses on specific site requirements such as temperature tolerance or aesthetics as crucial criteria in the choice of plants. The allergenicity of plants, however, is often neglected. Cariñanos et al. (2014; Landscape and Urban Planning, 123: 134–144) developed the Urban Green Zone Allergenicity Index (IUGZA) that considers a variety of plant characteristics to calculate the allergenic potential of urban green spaces. Based on this index, we calculated an index for the individual-specific allergenic potential (IISA) that accounts for a varying foliage volume by accurate measurements of crown heights and surface areas occupied by each tree and only included mature individuals. The studied park, located in Eichstätt, Germany, has an area of 2.2 ha and consists of 231 trees. We investigated the influence of species composition using six planting scenarios and analysed the relationship between allergenic potential and species diversity using Shannon index. Only a small number of trees was female and therefore characterised as non-allergenic, 9% of the trees were classified as sources of main local allergens. The allergenic potential of the park based on literature values for crown height and surface was IUGZA = 0.173. Applying our own measurements resulted in IISA = 0.018. The scenarios indicated that replacing trees considered as sources of main local allergens has the strongest impact on the park’s allergenic potential. The IUGZA offers an easy way to assess the allergenic potential of a park by the use of a few calculations. The IISA reduces the high influence of the foliage volume but there are constraints in practicability and in speed of the analysis. Although our study revealed that a greater biodiversity was not necessarily linked to lower index values, urban green planning should focus on biodiversity for ameliorating the allergenic potential of parks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Growth and Ecosystem Services of Urban Trees)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication Tree Vitality Assessment in Urban Landscapes
Forests 2018, 9(5), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9050279
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 13 May 2018 / Accepted: 16 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1036 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The recent prolonged drought in Melbourne, Australia has had a deleterious effect on the urban forest, resulting in the premature decline of many mature trees and a consequent decline in the environmental services that trees are able to provide to urban residents. Measuring [...] Read more.
The recent prolonged drought in Melbourne, Australia has had a deleterious effect on the urban forest, resulting in the premature decline of many mature trees and a consequent decline in the environmental services that trees are able to provide to urban residents. Measuring the severity of tree stress and defoliation due to various climatic factors is essential to the ongoing delivery of environmental services such as shade and carbon sequestration. This study evaluates two methods to assess the vitality of drought stressed Elm trees within an inner-city environment—bark chlorophyll fluorescence measured on large branches and an urban visual vitality index. Study species were Ulmus procera Salisb. (English Elm) and Ulmus × hollandica (Dutch Elm), which are important character and shade tree species for Melbourne. Relationships were identified between leaf water potential and the urban visual vitality index and between leaf water potential and bark chlorophyll fluorescence measured on large branches, indicating that these methods could be used to assess the effect of long-term drought and other stressors on urban trees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Growth and Ecosystem Services of Urban Trees)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Urban Forest Basal Area under China’s Rapid Urban Expansion and Greening: Implications for Urban Green Infrastructure Management
Forests 2018, 9(5), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9050272
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3543 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-textRetraction
Abstract
Urban forest (UF) basal area is an important parameter of UF structures, which can influence the functions of the UF ecosystem. However, the spatio-temporal pattern of the basal area in a given UF in regions under rapid urbanization and greening is still not [...] Read more.
Urban forest (UF) basal area is an important parameter of UF structures, which can influence the functions of the UF ecosystem. However, the spatio-temporal pattern of the basal area in a given UF in regions under rapid urbanization and greening is still not well documented. Our study explores the potential of estimating spatio-temporal UF basal area by using Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery. In our study, the predicting model was established to produce spatiotemporal maps of the urban forest basal area index in Changchun, China for the years 1984, 1995, 2005, and 2014. Our results showed that urban forests became more and more fragmented due to rapid urbanization from 1984 to 1995. Along with rapid urban greening after 1995, urban forest patches became larger and larger, creating a more homogeneous landscape. Urban forest and its basal area in the whole study area increased gradually from 1984 to 2014, especially in the outer belts of the city with urban sprawl. UF basal area was 27.3 × 103 m2, 41.3 × 103 m2, 45.8 × 103 m2, and 65.1 × 103 m2 of the entire study area for the year 1984, 1995, 2005, and 2014, respectively. The class distribution of the UF basal area index was skewed toward low values across all four years. In contrast, the frequency of a higher UF basal area index increased gradually from 1984 to 2014. Besides, the UF basal area index showed a decreasing trend along the gradient from suburban areas to urban center areas. Our results demonstrate the capability of TM remote sensing for understanding spatio-temporal changing patterns of UF basal area under China’s rapid urban expansion and greening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Growth and Ecosystem Services of Urban Trees)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Modeling Ecosystem Services for Park Trees: Sensitivity of i-Tree Eco Simulations to Light Exposure and Tree Species Classification
Forests 2018, 9(2), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9020089
Received: 18 January 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 10 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2096 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ecosystem modeling can help decision making regarding planting of urban trees for climate change mitigation and air pollution reduction. Algorithms and models that link the properties of plant functional types, species groups, or single species to their impact on specific ecosystem services have [...] Read more.
Ecosystem modeling can help decision making regarding planting of urban trees for climate change mitigation and air pollution reduction. Algorithms and models that link the properties of plant functional types, species groups, or single species to their impact on specific ecosystem services have been developed. However, these models require a considerable effort for initialization that is inherently related to uncertainties originating from the high diversity of plant species in urban areas. We therefore suggest a new automated method to be used with the i-Tree Eco model to derive light competition for individual trees and investigate the importance of this property. Since competition depends also on the species, which is difficult to determine from increasingly used remote sensing methodologies, we also investigate the impact of uncertain tree species classification on the ecosystem services by comparing a species-specific inventory determined by field observation with a genus-specific categorization and a model initialization for the dominant deciduous and evergreen species only. Our results show how the simulation of competition affects the determination of carbon sequestration, leaf area, and related ecosystem services and that the proposed method provides a tool for improving estimations. Misclassifications of tree species can lead to large deviations in estimates of ecosystem impacts, particularly concerning biogenic volatile compound emissions. In our test case, monoterpene emissions almost doubled and isoprene emissions decreased to less than 10% when species were estimated to belong only to either two groups instead of being determined by species or genus. It is discussed that this uncertainty of emission estimates propagates further uncertainty in the estimation of potential ozone formation. Overall, we show the importance of using an individual light competition approach and explicitly parameterizing all ecosystem functions at the species-specific level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Growth and Ecosystem Services of Urban Trees)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top