Symposium 5. Applications of dendrochronology in urban environments
As of 2020, 56% of the world’s population live in urban areas. These individuals benefit from numerous ecosystem services provided by urban forests, including urban heat island mitigation, energy use reduction, stormwater interception, wildlife and pollinator habitat provision, air pollution removal, and carbon sequestration. Urban greenspaces are also often the most accessible avenue for exposure to the natural environment, providing additional aesthetic, recreational, and psychological benefits. However, we know surprisingly little about urban tree growth often applying knowledge from non-urban ecosystems. Dendrochronology offers a valuable field-based method that can improve quantification of urban tree growth, evaluate response to environment, and project how planted trees can be expected to perform in various environments in the future. A few possible avenues of investigation include: the potential to measure the impact of urban land-use on urban forest growth, evaluate the scale and monetary value of carbon sequestration, determine the spatial and temporal legacies of environmental pollution using urban trees for biomonitoring, and assess resistance and resilience of urban forests to extreme climatic events. This potential is also challenged due to larger spatial heterogeneity in growth conditions and many co-occurring anthropogenic effects (e.g. soil compaction, mechanical wounding, excess irrigation, salinity, etc.) that may impact cross-dating and developing common growth curves.