FOR200H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Urban Forest, Species Richness, Emerald Ash Borer

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15 Aug 2016
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FOR200 Week 7
Forests in Settled Landscapes: Urban and Peri-urban Forests
- 78% of Canadians live in urban centres. Urban centres are expanding rapidly
- Agents of forest loss in Canada: urban expansion and agricultural conversion
Importance of Urban Forests
- Canadians are increasingly becoming isolated from experiences of natural forests, as well
as the destructive patterns and processes
- Primary interface between humans and forests is in the urban or peri-urban forests
- Urban forest conservation, restoration, and management is critical component to
Canadian forest conservation  social sustainability
Definitions
- Urban Forest: a dense, widespread growth of trees and other plants covering an area of a
city
- Urban Forestry: planning, designing and management of trees and forest stands with
amenity values, situated in or near urban areas
- Peri-Urban Forests: forest on the fringe of urban settlements. Treed areas in otherwise
agricultural settings. They are there to provide a specific function – water cycling, water
purification, planted as windbreaks or shelter
Toronto Forest Cover
- Toronto has roughly 10 million trees
- 28% canopy cover, goal is to increase 30-40%  by increasing the number of trees that
are planted and decrease the number of trees that are removed
- Either private or municipal ownership  6.1 million trees on private property (60%), 0.6
million city street trees (6%), 3.5 million trees in city parks/natural areas (34%)
Value of Toronto’s Forests
Toronto’s urban forest valued at roughly:
$7 billion structural value - based on the cost of replanting every tree with a similar one
Over $1 billion per year functional value - based on the functions the tree performs –
ecosystem services
Ecosystem Services
- Sequestering air pollutants
- Energy conservation through transpirational cooling, shade, and wind reduction
- Storm-water attenuation
- Psychological well being – as the species richness increases, the measures of
psychological well being also increases. More diverse = more active brain
- Human health – more tree cover within 50m of house, there is a small reduction in birth
rate. Emerald ash borer was associated with deaths of the lower respiratory system and
cardiovascular related deaths
- Human behaviour – more trees = less crime
- Increased property value – areas with lower tree cover have lower property values
- Diversity criteria is a good management tool  for every 5 species there should be no
more than 10 species that have the same genus name, and no more than 20 that are in the
same family
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