Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 229-246

Urban tree cover: an ecological perspective

  • Wayne C. ZippererAffiliated withUSDA Forest Service
  • , Susan M. SisinniAffiliated withUSDA Forest Service
  • , Richard V. PouyatAffiliated withUSDA Forest Service
  • , Timothy W. ForesmanAffiliated withDepartment of Geography, University of Maryland Baltimore County

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Analysis of urban tree cover is generally limited to inventories of tree structure and composition on public lands. This approach provided valuable information for resource management. However, it does not account for all tree cover within an urban landscape, thus providing insufficient information on ecological patterns and processes. We propose evaluating tree cover for an entire urban area that is based on patch dynamics. Treed patches are classified by their origin, structure, and management intensity. A patch approach enables ecologists to evaluate ecological patterns and processes for the entire urban landscape and to examine how social patterns influence these ecological patterns and processes.

tree cover urban-to-rural gradient patch dynamics urban forest ecological patterns and processes