Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 27–37

Carbon sequestration by Quercus ilex L. and Quercus pubescens Willd. and their contribution to decreasing air temperature in Rome


Carbon sequestration capability by Quercus ilex L and Quercus pubescens Willd., widely distributed in the city of Rome, and their contribution to decreasing air temperature were investigated. Crown volume is the most significant (p < 0.01) variable explaining variation of air temperature below the tree crown. Q. pubescens gives a higher contribution to decreasing air temperature during the hottest months, due to its inherent larger crown volume than Q. ilex (252 ± 19 and 533 ± 52 m3, respectively for the large size). Moreover, our results show the existence of a strong urban carbon dioxide dome with a peak CO2 concentration (on an average 432 ± 37 ppm) at polluted sites, 16% greater than at control sites. Total carbon sequestration is 84 ± 12 and 111 ± 9 Kg year−1 of CO2 for the small Q. ilex and Q. pubescens tree size, respectively, and 151 ± 10 and 185 ± 7 Kg year−1 of CO2 for the large Q. ilex and Q. pubescen tree size, respectively. Q. pubescens, by its higher total photosynthetic leaf surface area (39% higher than Q. ilex) and its higher mean yearly photosynthetic rates (48% higher than Q. ilex) seems to have a greater role than Q. ilex. However, taking into account the leaf longevity (i.e. 12 ± 3 months for Q. ilex and 4 ± 2 months for Q. pubescens), the evergreen species, by its continuous photosynthetic activity, contributes to reduce CO2 throughout the year, and in particular during the winter months, when traffic volume has a pick, than Q. pubescens.


Carbon sequestration “Heat island” Tree structure LAI Evergreen and Deciduous species 


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© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant BiologyUniversity “La Sapienza”RomeItaly

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