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Wednesday, April 26 • 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Urban Forest Benefits

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Urban forests provide a myriad of different ecosystem services for urban settings that are frequently overlooked and taken for granted. The purpose of our group’s project will be to establish and quantify a range of different services that urban forest systems on the UNCA campus provide. Our research is motivated by the fact that urban systems are growing and show no sign of diminishing for the remainder of our species time on earth. While population growth is projected to increase in the coming years it is of the utmost importance that research be carried out and data compiled on the benefits of urban forests for urban communities. In general, there seems to be a trend in which humans are less and less aware of the necessity of sustaining the natural world if our species is to persist. The proliferation of urban centers coincides, almost inherently, with loss of biodiversity and deforestation. As such, it is imperative that the services these natural systems provide is quantified and communicated to the general public. Specifically, the research question our group will be attempting to answer is how do the urban forests of UNCA contribute to carbon storage, water retention, and uptake of particulate matter? Also, we will establish the monetary value that these systems provide through these services. We hypothesize that the urban forest systems of UNCA will carry out the aforementioned ecosystem services at a higher/faster rate than other systems containing a diminished forested component. In order to determine the rate at which these systems perform these services and what they are worth in monetary terms the following methods will be utilized. Components of the urban forest system on the UNCA campus will be evaluated using the i-Tree eco program which includes systems for quantifying amounts of carbon sequestered, water retained, and particulate matter processed based on sample plots used to extrapolate data for the overall site. Before this can be accomplished a pre-existing database of diameter at breast height (DBH) for trees contained on the UNCA campus will be referenced and added to thorough field collection of DBH on more trees in order to obtain the base amount of data required to employ the use of i-Tree eco. During this process the scientific literature will be referenced in order to gain a more complete understanding of pre-existing research in similar fields and some of the methods they utilize

Wednesday April 26, 2017 12:30pm - 2:00pm PDT
Concourse - Wilma Sherrill Center