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Tree Productivity Enhanced with Conversion from Forest to Urban Land Covers.

Briber BM, Hutyra LR, Reinmann AB, Raciti SM, Dearborn VK, Holden CE, Dunn AL - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We found that urban land uses held less than half the biomass of adjacent forest expanses with a plot level mean biomass density of 33.5 ± 8.0 Mg C ha(-1).As the intensity of urban development increased, the canopy cover, stem density, and biomass decreased.The contrasting high growth rates and lower biomass pools within urban areas suggest a highly dynamic ecosystem with rapid turnover.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Earth and Environment, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Urban areas are expanding, changing the structure and productivity of landscapes. While some urban areas have been shown to hold substantial biomass, the productivity of these systems is largely unknown. We assessed how conversion from forest to urban land uses affected both biomass structure and productivity across eastern Massachusetts. We found that urban land uses held less than half the biomass of adjacent forest expanses with a plot level mean biomass density of 33.5 ± 8.0 Mg C ha(-1). As the intensity of urban development increased, the canopy cover, stem density, and biomass decreased. Analysis of Quercus rubra tree cores showed that tree-level basal area increment nearly doubled following development, increasing from 17.1 ± 3.0 to 35.8 ± 4.7 cm(2) yr(-1). Scaling the observed stem densities and growth rates within developed areas suggests an aboveground biomass growth rate of 1.8 ± 0.4 Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1), a growth rate comparable to nearby, intact forests. The contrasting high growth rates and lower biomass pools within urban areas suggest a highly dynamic ecosystem with rapid turnover. As global urban extent continues to grow, cities consider climate mitigation options, and as the verification of net greenhouse gas emissions emerges as critical for policy, quantifying the role of urban vegetation in regional-to-global carbon budgets will become ever more important.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Ecosystem structure.Aboveground biomass (AGB) and diameter at breast height (DBH) for all low density residential (LDR), medium density residential (MDR), and other (OTH) 2013 land cover change field plots. The area weighted urban estimate was based on the areal extents from Table 1. Error bars are 95% confidence intervals.
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pone.0136237.g002: Ecosystem structure.Aboveground biomass (AGB) and diameter at breast height (DBH) for all low density residential (LDR), medium density residential (MDR), and other (OTH) 2013 land cover change field plots. The area weighted urban estimate was based on the areal extents from Table 1. Error bars are 95% confidence intervals.

Mentions: Mean plot-level DBH, total live aboveground biomass, stem density, and canopy cover all declined as development intensity increased such that LDR > MDR > OTH (Table 1 and Fig 2). Across all forest-to-urban land cover conversion pathways, we found a mean, area-weighted aboveground biomass of 42.7 ± 14.7 Mg C ha-1, approximately 54% of the mean eastern MA forest biomass (78.6 Mg C ha-1) reported by the FIA [59]. While the changes in ecosystem structural characteristics were broadly consistent across all land cover change categories, differences between the forest-to-LDR and forest-to-MDR categories were more pronounced than differences between the forest-to-MDR and forest-to-OTH categories (Table 1). Moreover, as development intensity increased from LDR to OTH, aboveground biomass decreased by about 65% from 52.3 ± 16.0 to 18.4 ± 9.5 Mg C ha-1, respectively. Biomass differences were more pronounced than accompanying differences in canopy cover and stem density across the same change in development intensity.


Tree Productivity Enhanced with Conversion from Forest to Urban Land Covers.

Briber BM, Hutyra LR, Reinmann AB, Raciti SM, Dearborn VK, Holden CE, Dunn AL - PLoS ONE (2015)

Ecosystem structure.Aboveground biomass (AGB) and diameter at breast height (DBH) for all low density residential (LDR), medium density residential (MDR), and other (OTH) 2013 land cover change field plots. The area weighted urban estimate was based on the areal extents from Table 1. Error bars are 95% confidence intervals.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4547753&req=5

pone.0136237.g002: Ecosystem structure.Aboveground biomass (AGB) and diameter at breast height (DBH) for all low density residential (LDR), medium density residential (MDR), and other (OTH) 2013 land cover change field plots. The area weighted urban estimate was based on the areal extents from Table 1. Error bars are 95% confidence intervals.
Mentions: Mean plot-level DBH, total live aboveground biomass, stem density, and canopy cover all declined as development intensity increased such that LDR > MDR > OTH (Table 1 and Fig 2). Across all forest-to-urban land cover conversion pathways, we found a mean, area-weighted aboveground biomass of 42.7 ± 14.7 Mg C ha-1, approximately 54% of the mean eastern MA forest biomass (78.6 Mg C ha-1) reported by the FIA [59]. While the changes in ecosystem structural characteristics were broadly consistent across all land cover change categories, differences between the forest-to-LDR and forest-to-MDR categories were more pronounced than differences between the forest-to-MDR and forest-to-OTH categories (Table 1). Moreover, as development intensity increased from LDR to OTH, aboveground biomass decreased by about 65% from 52.3 ± 16.0 to 18.4 ± 9.5 Mg C ha-1, respectively. Biomass differences were more pronounced than accompanying differences in canopy cover and stem density across the same change in development intensity.

Bottom Line: We found that urban land uses held less than half the biomass of adjacent forest expanses with a plot level mean biomass density of 33.5 ± 8.0 Mg C ha(-1).As the intensity of urban development increased, the canopy cover, stem density, and biomass decreased.The contrasting high growth rates and lower biomass pools within urban areas suggest a highly dynamic ecosystem with rapid turnover.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Earth and Environment, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Urban areas are expanding, changing the structure and productivity of landscapes. While some urban areas have been shown to hold substantial biomass, the productivity of these systems is largely unknown. We assessed how conversion from forest to urban land uses affected both biomass structure and productivity across eastern Massachusetts. We found that urban land uses held less than half the biomass of adjacent forest expanses with a plot level mean biomass density of 33.5 ± 8.0 Mg C ha(-1). As the intensity of urban development increased, the canopy cover, stem density, and biomass decreased. Analysis of Quercus rubra tree cores showed that tree-level basal area increment nearly doubled following development, increasing from 17.1 ± 3.0 to 35.8 ± 4.7 cm(2) yr(-1). Scaling the observed stem densities and growth rates within developed areas suggests an aboveground biomass growth rate of 1.8 ± 0.4 Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1), a growth rate comparable to nearby, intact forests. The contrasting high growth rates and lower biomass pools within urban areas suggest a highly dynamic ecosystem with rapid turnover. As global urban extent continues to grow, cities consider climate mitigation options, and as the verification of net greenhouse gas emissions emerges as critical for policy, quantifying the role of urban vegetation in regional-to-global carbon budgets will become ever more important.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus