Abstract: Research Highlights: This study is among the first to investigate ozone levels in urban forests in China. It establishes that urban forest air quality in Yuanshan Forest Park, Shenzhen, is suitable for recreational activities and identifies spatial, seasonal, and diurnal O3 patterns and relationships with micrometeorological parameters, suggesting the possibility of manipulating relevant forest characteristics to reduce O3 levels. Background and Objectives: An understanding of O3 levels of urban forest environments is needed to assess potential effects on human health and recreational activities. Such studies in China are scarce. This study investigated urban forest O3 levels to improve understanding and support residents engaging in forest recreational activities. Materials and Methods: We monitored O3 levels in 2015–2016 for three urban forests representing common habitats (foothill, valley, and ridge) in Yuanshan Forest Park, Shenzhen, and for an adjacent square. Results: The overall mean daily and daily maximum 8-h mean (MDA8) O3 concentrations were highest for the ridge forest and lowest for the valley forest. Each forest’s O3 concentrations were highest in summer. Diurnally, forest O3 concentrations peaked between 13:00 and 17:00 and reached a minimum between 03:00 and 09:00. The correlation between forest O3 concentrations and air temperature (AT) was strongly positive in summer and autumn but negative in spring. In each season, O3 concentration was negatively correlated with relative humidity (RH). No MDA8 or hourly O3 concentrations in the forests exceeded National Ambient Air Quality Standard Grade I thresholds (100 and 160 μg m−3, respectively). Conclusions: O3 accumulation is present in ridge urban forest in all seasons. Foothill and valley urban forests have better air quality than ridge forestation. Urban forest air quality is better in spring and autumn than in summer and is better from night-time to early morning than from noon to afternoon.
Biology and Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
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