Browsing by Subject "Urban parks"

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  • Peuhu, Elina; Thomssen, Pia-Maria; Siitonen, Juha (2019)
    Hollow trees are an important habitat for a large number of saproxylic invertebrates, many of which are rare or threatened. Large old trees occur frequently in cities, but the saproxylic fauna inhabiting these trees has been poorly studied. Sampling in urban areas includes the risk of trap failure due to human interference, which needs to be considered when designing sampling. The aim of our study was to find an efficient trap type for sampling saproxylic beetles in hollow urban trees. We compared the species richness and species composition of saproxylic beetle assemblages between trunk window, aluminium foil tray and pitfall traps placed inside hollow trees in the Helsinki metropolitan area, Finland. A total of 30 traps of each trap type were set in 15 trees. The traps caught a total of 4004 saproxylic beetle individuals belonging to 131 species. Trunk window and aluminium foil traps had similar assemblage and trapping efficiency, and were significantly more efficient than pitfall traps. However, pitfall traps caught certain species more efficiently than the other two trap types. Time spent separating insects from samples was the most laborious work stage. The time increased with increasing sample weight, i.e. the amount of wood mould in the trap. Trunk windows were the most efficient trap type also in terms of saproxylic species and individuals per handling time. We conclude that saproxylic beetle fauna living in hollow urban trees can be efficiently sampled with small trunk window traps or containers placed on the inner walls of hollows.
  • Lindén, Leena; Riikonen, Anu; Setälä, Heikki; Yli-Pelkonen, Vesa (2020)
    Removing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing carbon in vegetation and soil are important ecosystem services provided by urban green space. However, knowledge on the capacity of trees and soils to store carbon in urban parks - especially in the northern latitudes - is scarce. We assessed the amount of organic carbon stored in trees and soil of constructed urban parks under cold climatic conditions in Finland. More specifically, we investigated the effects of management, vegetation type and time since construction on the amount of carbon stored in park trees and soil. We conducted two tree surveys and collected soil samples (0 to 90 cm) in constructed parks managed by the city of Helsinki. The estimated overall carbon density was approximately 130 t per park hectare, when the carbon stock of trees was 22 to 28 t ha-1 and that of soil 104 t ha-1 at the very least. The soil to tree carbon storage ratio varied from 7.1 to 7.5 for vegetated, pervious grounds and from 3.7 to 5.0 for entire park areas. The effects of park management and vegetation type could not be entirely separated in our data, but time was shown to have a distinct, positive effect on tree and soil carbon stocks. The results indicate that park soils can hold remarkable carbon stocks in a cold climate. It also seems that park soil carbon holding capacity largely exceeds that of forested soils in Finland. Preservation and augmentation of carbon stocks in urban parks implies avoidance of drastic tree and soil renovation measures.
  • Yli-Pelkonen, Vesa; Viippola, Viljami; Rantalainen, Anna-Lea; Zheng, JunQiang; Setälä, Heikki (2018)
    It is generally conceived that trees can clean polluted air in urban areas sufficiently enough to be considered providers of a vital ecosystem service, although there have not been many field studies showing this in practice in the neighbourhood scale. Using passive sampling methods, we investigated the effect of urban park trees on the concentrations of gaseous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ground-level ozone (O3) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) in early summer in the temperate zone city of Yanji, northeast China. Concentrations of total gaseous PAHs and certain PAH constituents were higher and concentrations of O3 lower in tree-covered areas compared to nearby open areas, while tree cover did not affect the concentrations of NO2 and SO2. The higher PAH concentrations under tree canopies may associate with air-soil gas exchange and the trapping of polluted air under canopies. Lower O3 concentrations in tree-covered areas may result from a combination of absorption of O3 by tree canopies, and lower temperatures and solar radiation under tree canopies compared to open areas.
  • Yli-Pelkonen, Vesa Johannes; Scott, Anna A.; Viippola, Juho Viljami; Setälä, Heikki Martti (2017)
    Trees and other vegetation absorb and capture air pollutants, leading to the common perception that they, and trees in particular, can improve air quality in cities and provide an important ecosystem service for urban inhabitants. Yet, there has been a lack of empirical evidence showing this at the local scale with different plant configurations and climatic regions. We studied the impact of urban park and forest vegetation on the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ground-level ozone (O3) while controlling for temperature during early summer (May) using passive samplers in Baltimore, USA. Concentrations of O3 were significantly lower in tree-covered habitats than in adjacent open habitats, but concentrations of NO2 did not differ significantly between tree-covered and open habitats. Higher temperatures resulted in higher pollutant concentrations and NO2 and O3 concentration were negatively correlated with each other. Our results suggest that the role of trees in reducing NO2 concentrations in urban parks and forests in the Mid-Atlantic USA is minor, but that the presence of tree-cover can result in lower O3 levels compared to similar open areas. Our results further suggest that actions aiming at local air pollution mitigation should consider local variability in vegetation, climate, micro-climate, and traffic conditions.
  • Yli-Pelkonen, Vesa Johannes; Scott, Anna A.; Viippola, Juho Viljami; Setälä, Heikki Martti (2017)
    Trees and other vegetation absorb and capture air pollutants, leading to the common perception that they, and trees in particular, can improve air quality in cities and provide an important ecosystem service for urban inhabitants. Yet, there has been a lack of empirical evidence showing this at the local scale with different plant configurations and climatic regions. We studied the impact of urban park and forest vegetation on the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ground-level ozone (O3) while controlling for temperature during early summer (May) using passive samplers in Baltimore, USA. Concentrations of O3 were significantly lower in tree-covered habitats than in adjacent open habitats, but concentrations of NO2 did not differ significantly between tree-covered and open habitats. Higher temperatures resulted in higher pollutant concentrations and NO2 and O3 concentration were negatively correlated with each other. Our results suggest that the role of trees in reducing NO2 concentrations in urban parks and forests in the Mid-Atlantic USA is minor, but that the presence of tree-cover can result in lower O3 levels compared to similar open areas. Our results further suggest that actions aiming at local air pollution mitigation should consider local variability in vegetation, climate, micro-climate, and traffic conditions.