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Measuring urban tree loss dynamics across residential landscapes

Metadata Updated: November 12, 2020

The spatial arrangement of urban vegetation depends on urban morphology and socio-economic settings. Urban vegetation changes over time because of human management. Urban trees are removed due to hazard prevention or aesthetic preferences. Previous research attributed tree loss to decreases in canopy cover. However, this provides little information about location and structural characteristics of trees lost, as well as environmental and social factors affecting tree loss dynamics. This is particularly relevant in residential landscapes where access to residential parcels for field surveys is limited. We tested whether multi-temporal airborne LiDAR and multi-spectral imagery collected at a 5-year interval can be used to investigate urban tree loss dynamics across residential landscapes in Denver, CO and Milwaukee, WI, covering 400,705 residential parcels in 444 census tracts. Position and stem height of trees lost were extracted from canopy height models calculated as the difference between final (year 5) and initial (year 0) vegetation height derived from LiDAR. Multivariate regression models were used to predict number and height of tree stems lost in residential parcels in each census tract based on urban morphological and socio-economic variables. A total of 28,427 stems were lost from residential parcels in Denver and Milwaukee over 5 years. Overall, 7% of residential parcels lost one stem, averaging 90.87 stems per km2. Average stem height was 10.16 m, though trees lost in Denver were taller compared to Milwaukee. The number of stems lost was higher in neighborhoods with higher canopy cover and developed before the 1970s. However, socio-economic characteristics had little effect on tree loss dynamics. The study provides a robust method for measuring urban tree loss dynamics within and across entire cities, and represents a first step towards high resolution assessments of the three-dimensional change of urban vegetation at large spatial scales.

This dataset is associated with the following publication: Ossola, A., and M. Hopton. Measuring urban tree loss dynamics across residential landscapes. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. Elsevier BV, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS, 612: 940-949, (2018).

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: See this page for license information.

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Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020

Metadata Source

Harvested from EPA ScienceHub

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Publisher U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD)
Data Last Modified 2017-06-29
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 020:00
Schema Version
Harvest Object Id 0fd3a0e9-d6c1-4917-965b-848b4c375b0b
Harvest Source Id 04b59eaf-ae53-4066-93db-80f2ed0df446
Harvest Source Title EPA ScienceHub
Program Code 020:096
Publisher Hierarchy U.S. Government > U.S. Environmental Protection Agency > U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD)
Related Documents
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 116c70b6cd416d778d7f868b44cf4d94e345bf07
Source Schema Version 1.1

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