Skip to Main Content
Analyzing the causal factors of carbon stores in a subtropical urban forestAuthor(s): Nilesh Timilsina; Francisco Escobedo; Christina Staudhammer; Thomas Brandeis
Source: Ecological Complexity 20 (2014) 23–32
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Southern Research Station
Download Publication (1.28 MB)
Related Research Highlights
Scientists Quantify the Value of Ecosystem Services Provided by the San Juan Bay Estuary
DescriptionStudies of forests and urban forest ecosystems have documented the various biophysical and socioeconomic correlates of carbon storage. Tree cover in particular is often used as a determinant of carbon storage for local and national level urban forest assessments. However, the relationships among variables describing the biophysical and socioeconomic environment and carbon are not simple statistical ones. Instead, there are complex interactions that can have either a unidirectional causal effects, or produce indirect effects through interactions with other ecosystem structure and landscape characteristics. Thus, understanding the direct and indirect effects of structure, composition, and landscape characteristics is key to quantifying ecosystem services. This study used field data from plots across an urban watershed, site-specific biomass equations, and structural equation modeling of urban forest structure and landscape variables to quantify the causal influences of tree cover, land use, stand density, species composition and diversity on carbon stores. Our path analysis shows that the effect of tree cover on carbon stores is not only direct but also indirect and influential through basal area and composition. Findings suggest that species composition, species diversity and land use have much more complex relationships than previously reported in the urban forest literature. The use of path analysis in these types of studies also presents a novel method to better analyze and quantify these direct and indirect effects on urban forest carbon stores. Findings have implications for urban forest ecosystem assessments that use tree cover as the sole metric for inferring ecosystem functions and services.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationTimilsina, Nilesh; Escobedo, Francisco J.; Staudhammer, Christina L.; Brandeis, Thomas. 2014. Analyzing the causal factors of carbon stores in a subtropical urban forest. Ecological Complexity 20 (2014) pp. 23–32.
Keywordsecosystem, urban watershed, tree cover, land use, stand density, species composition, diversity, carbon stores
- Human and biophysical legacies shape contemporary urban forests: A literature synthesis
- Comparison of methods for estimating carbon dioxide storage by Sacramento's urban forest
- Aboveground carbon stock and distribution in managed and unmanaged mature, natural-origin, pine-hardwood forest stands
XML: View XML