ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0084.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: drought tolerance; roadside woody vegetation; Simpson diversity; site conditions; tree mortality; tree planting initiatives
Online: 4 March 2022 (17:04:27 CET)
Long-term, multi-decade research on planted tree survival in urban settings is sparse. One understudied urban environment is highway rights-of-way (ROW), lands adjacent to high-speed, unsignalized roadways. We conducted a re-inventory of tree planting cohort in northern Illinois, U.S. on a 48 km-long highway near Chicago which were 10-, 21-, and 30-years old to evaluate long-term patterns of survival and diversity. Using each randomly selected planting site along the highway as a unit of observation and analysis, we compared the number of trees documented in record drawing to the number of trees currently alive to determine percent survival. We evaluated 224 planting sites which originally contained 2,944 trees and collected data about the planting site location. For the oldest cohort, 26% of trees were still alive in 2018 (median survival by species = 16%, Q1 = 0%, Q3 = 48%), while 31% of the 21-year-old cohort (med. = 6%, Q1 = 0%, Q3 = 47%) and 86% of the 10-year-old cohort were still alive (med. = 85%, Q1 = 74%, Q3 = 96%). The survival of the 21- and 30-year-old cohort matches urban tree survival estimates by other researchers, while the 10-year-old survival is higher than expected. The only planting location characteristic that significantly affected survival was traffic islands (areas between the highway and entrance/exit ramps). Species with low drought tolerance were less likely to be alive for the 10-year-old cohort. Waterlogging tolerant species were more likely to be alive in the 10-year-old cohort. Since some species in the 21- and 30-year-old cohorts had very low survival, the tree species richness and diversity s in study areas declined between the initial record drawings and reinventory. This study demonstrates the challenges of maintaining long-term survival and diversity in the highway ROW and emphasizes the importance of species selection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0223.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Abiotic Stress; Forestry; Tree Physiology; Plant Selection; Urban Forestry
Online: 8 March 2021 (13:42:34 CET)
Responses to water stress were measured for sugar maple (Acer saccharum subsp. saccharum Marshall) sources from Oklahoma (Caddo sugar maple), Missouri, Tennessee, Ontario and a black maple (Acer saccharum subsp. nigrum F. Michx.) source from Iowa. Seedling sources were selected for differences in temperature and precipitation of their geographic origins. Seedlings were preconditioned through moist (watered daily) or dry (watered every 4-7 days) cycles and then exposed to prolonged water stress. Dry preconditioned sugar maple seedlings from Oklahoma, Missouri, and Tennessee, sources from warmer and/or drier climates with greater relative evapotranspiration potentials, declined less rapidly in net photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and water use efficiency (WUE) as water stress increased than dry preconditioned seedlings from Ontario and Iowa having origins in cooler, moister climates. Under imposed water stress the Ontario and Iowa sourced seedlings increased their root to shoot ratios and decreased their specific leaf area, mechanisms for drought avoidance. However, no corresponding changes in these values occurred for Oklahoma, Missouri, and Tennessee sources. Results from this study suggest greater tolerance of water stress in the Oklahoma, Missouri and Tennessee ecotypes from the western and southern range of sugar maple resulted primarily with WUE rather than other water stress coping mechanisms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0282.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: cyclone; defect; hurricane; likelihood of failure; storm damage; typhoon; urban ecology; urban forestry
Online: 21 May 2022 (11:03:18 CEST)
Urban trees are often more sun- and wind-exposed than their forest-grown counterparts. These environmental differences can impact how many species grow – impacting trunk taper, crown spread, branch architecture, and other aspects of tree form. Given these differences, windthrow models derived from traditional forest production data sources may not be appropriate for urban forest management. Additionally, visual abnormalities historically labeled as “defects” in timber production may not have a significant impact on tree failure potential. In this study, we look at urban tree failures associated with Hurricane Irma in Tampa, Florida, USA. We used spatial analysis to determine if patterns of failure existed among our inventoried trees. We also looked at risk assessment data to determine which visual defects were the most common and the most likely to be associated with branch or whole-tree failure. Results indicate that there was no spatial pattern associated with the observed tree failures – trees failed or withstood the storm as individuals. While some defects like decay and dead wood were associated with increased tree failure, other defects like weak branch unions and poor branch architecture were less problematic.
Subject: Biology, Forestry Keywords: hurricane; tree risk assessment; urban forest strike team; species failure profile; likelihood of failure
Online: 24 April 2020 (04:37:51 CEST)
Trees in residential landscapes provide many benefits, but can injure persons and damage property when they fail. In hurricane-prone regions like Florida, USA, the regular occurrence of hurricanes has provided an opportunity to assess factors that influence the likelihood of wind-induced tree failure and develop species failure profiles. We assessed open-grown trees in Naples, Florida, following the passage of Hurricane Irma in September 2017 to determine the effect of relevant factors on the degree of damage sustained by individual trees. Of 4,034 assessed individuals (n = 15 species), 74% sustained no damage, 4% sustained only minor damage (i.e., minimal corrective pruning needed), 6% sustained significant damage (i.e., major corrective pruning needed), and 15% were whole tree failures (i.e., overturned trees or trees requiring removal). The proportion of individuals in each damage category varied among species, stem diameter at 1.4 m above ground, and the presence of utility lines, which was a proxy for maintenance. We compared our results with the findings of seven previous hurricanes in the region to explore species’ resilience in hurricanes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0517.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: city trees; landscape design; landscape architecture; socio-ecological system; urban ecosystem; urban forest
Online: 30 August 2022 (09:54:35 CEST)
Despite the abundance of tree diversity in the natural world, and generally high tree species richness in urban areas, urban forests continue to be dominated by a limited number of species. As socio-ecological systems, urban forests are shaped by historical and current management efforts and decision-making of a wide range of human actors. Drawing on past research, we offer a conceptual framework for describing the complex interactions among tree producers and consumers as trees are selected, grown, specified, and planted in private and public urban areas. We illustrate how multiple layers of selection criteria filter down the entirety of potential local tree diversity to a handful of commonly used and accepted tree species. We detail the actors and decision makers who impact tree composition and diversity across several land types. Finally, we identify research, education and outreach needs as they relate to creating more diverse and resilient urban forest ecosystems.
Subject: Biology, Forestry Keywords: ecosystem disservices; green infrastructure; site design; tree selection; urban forestry
Online: 31 August 2021 (11:42:48 CEST)
As urban development increases in density, the space to grow urban trees becomes more constrained. In heavily developed areas, small stature trees can be planted to reduce both above- and below-ground conflicts with infrastructure elements. However, even these species have their limits when placed in extremely confining conditions. In this study, we build on past work to determine the minimum planting widths of small stature urban trees. We found that species, stem diameter, and the height at which stem diameter measurements occurred were all strong predictors of trunk flare diameter (adjusted R2 of 0.843). Additionally, we modelled the relationship between planting space and the presence or absence of hardscape conflicts – using the predictions derived from this effort to project the potential cost savings in two United States cities. Study results provide a guideline to create sufficient space for urban trees and minimize infrastructure damage and associated cost savings.