Towards an integrative approach to evaluate the environmental ecosystem services provided by urban forest

As a Nature-Based Solution, urban forests deliver a number of environmental ecosystem services (EESs). To quantify these EESs, well-defined, reliable, quantifiable and stable indicators are needed. With literature analysis and expert knowledge gathered within COST Action FP1204 GreenInUrbs, we proposed a classification of urban forest EESs into three categories: (A) regulation of air, water, soil and climate; (B) provisioning of habitat quality; and (C) provisioning of other goods and services. Each category is divided into EES types: (a) amelioration of air quality; restoration of soil and water; amelioration of the microclimate; removal of CO2 from the air; (b) provision of habitat for biodiversity; support for resilient urban ecosystems; provision of genetic diversity; and (c) provision of energy and nutrients; provision of grey infrastructure resilience. Each EES type provides one or more benefits. For each of these 12 benefits, we propose a set of indicators to be used when analyzing the impacts on the identified EESs. Around half of the 36 indicators are relevant to more than one single benefit, which highlights complex interrelationships. The indicators of wider applicability are tree and stand characteristics, followed by leaf physical traits and tree species composition. This knowledge is needed for the optimization of the EESs delivered by urban forests, now and in the future. © 2019, The Author(s).

Roeland S.1 , Moretti M.2 , Amorim J.H.3 , Branquinho C.4 , Fares S.5 , Morelli F.6 , Niinemets Ü.7 , Paoletti E.8 , Pinho P.4, 9 , Sgrigna G.10 , Stojanovski V.11 , Tiwary A.12 , Sicard P.13 , Calfapietra C. 10, 14
Northeast Forestry University
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  • 1 Department of Bioscience Engineering, Research Group Environmental Ecology and Applied Microbiology, Laboratory of Environmental and Urban Ecology, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
  • 2 Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Zürcherstrasse 111, Birmensdorf, 8903, Switzerland
  • 3 Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), Norrköping, SE-60176, Sweden
  • 4 Faculdade de Ciências, cE3c-Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, Lisbon, 1749-016, Portugal
  • 5 Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), Research Center for Forestry and Wood, Arezzo, Italy
  • 6 Department of Applied Geoinformatics and Spatial Planning, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, Prague 6, 165 00, Czech Republic
  • 7 Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 1, Tartu, 51014, Estonia
  • 8 Institute of Research on Terrestrial Ecosystems (IRET), CNR, Section of Florence, Via Madonna del Piano 10, Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
  • 9 Centre for Natural Resources and the Environment, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, 1749-016, Portugal
  • 10 Institute of Research on Terrestrial Ecosystems (IRET), CNR, Headquarters, Via Marconi 2, Porano, Italy
  • 11 Forest Faculty in Skopje, University SS Cyril and Methodius, Skopje, 1000, North Macedonia
  • 12 Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom
  • 13 ARGANS, 260 Route du Pin Montard, Sophia Antipolis, 06904, France
  • 14 Department of Landscape Design and Sustainable Ecosystems, Agrarian-technological Institute, RUDN University, Miklukho-Maklaya Str., 6, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
Environmental ecosystem services; Indicators; Urban forests
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