A New Study Asserts the Importance of Urban Trees in Conservation Efforts

Data collected from 13 million tree planting records in 473 urban areas across 73 countries provides insight into the role of urban trees in biodiversity conservation.

1 minute read

October 7, 2020, 7:00 AM PDT

By Lee Flannery @leecflannery


Trees

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Alessandro Ossola, lead author of a new study tracking plant diversity among urban treessays that the study of trees in cities is a missed opportunity for those making efforts to conserve biodiversity.

"To understand which trees are planted in cities around the world, and the climates and natural habitats they face, his team conducted an ambitious inventory as part of their Which Plant Where project. They discovered a wealth of data on trees in cities and towns, systematically mining nearly 13 million tree planting records from 2010," writes Natalie Parletta.

Ossola's team reported on the conservation status and potential of a given tree to become an invasive species with help from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species (GRIIS). The research is the most comprehensive catalog of trees to date with data from 473 urban areas across 73 countries. 

We can expect some tree species might be lost in the future due to high temperatures and a lack of rainfall, says Parletta. "Results suggest other tree species could thrive, even under future climates. The researchers note the database could help inform appropriate species selection and avoid potential invaders in efforts to green cities and conserve biodiversity" writes Parletta reassuringly. 

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