On the road to quantifying ecosystems services that plants provide in urban spaces, researchers are working to document and measure working plants to better predict their ecosystems services contributions. An interdisciplinary international team looked at 22 common urban trees including street and park trees to more accurately measure species specific crown size and spatial requirements in a standardized way. Researchers from Canada, Chile, France, Japan, Germany, South Africa, and Vietnam cooperated to measure and group similar trees together.
Understanding the size, shape and scale of urban trees is critical to quantifying and estimating the functionality and ecosystem services the tree will provide. The amount of leaves and size of the tree are critical to calculating how well an individual or cluster of trees will perform in an urban space. Volume of the crown can be used to calculate leaf area, transpiration and particulate matter filtration as well as shading. Height and diameter can be used to estimate CO2 sequestration. Combining standardized volumetric information of the tree canopy can be used to plan green space.
Crown size and growing space requirement of common tree species in urban centres, parks, and forests. Hans Pretzscha, Peter Bibera, Enno Uhla, Jens Dahlhausena, Thomas Rötzera, Juan Caldenteyb, Takayoshi Koikec, Tran van Cond, Aurélia Chavannee, Thomas Seifertf, Ben du Toitf, Craig Farndeng, Stephan Pauleith Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, Volume 14, Issue 3, 2015, Pages 466–479. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1618866715000473