Urban forest changes and their drivers in Sacramento Region, CA.

Authors: Natalie Van Doorn*, U.S. Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station, Erika Teach, U.S. Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station , Francisco Escobedo, U.S. Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station, Alyssa Thomas, U.S. Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station
Topics: Environmental Science, Urban and Regional Planning, Natural Resources
Keywords: urban forest dynamics, mortality, recruitment, urban forest function, urban forest structure, urban forest composition, california, socioeconomic
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 33
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Cities often use canopy cover to set goals and targets towards increasing green infrastructure. However, forests are dynamic and there are other important factors that are largely overlooked that need to be taken into consideration. Two i-Tree Eco field assessments were conducted in the summers of 2007 and 2019 within urban areas of 6 counties in the Sacramento Region, California: Yolo, Placer, Sacramento, El Dorado, Sutter, and Yuba. A total of 256 permanent monitoring plots were used to analyze changes in structure, composition, and function between the two survey years as well as estimate tree mortality and planting rates. We also compiled and statistically analyzed available data from the US Census and real estate listings to better understand the socioeconomic factors behind this change in Sacramento’s urban forest. For example, we investigate whether the species abundance has changed and whether the distribution of tree diameters has shifted. We evaluate whether urban forest functions, such as carbon storage and avoided runoff, have increased or decreased significantly between survey years. To conduct the analyses, we use a Bayesian hierarchical model for log-normally distributed data. We test plot-level differences between years for each species using Bayes Factor. Finally, we explore the socioeconomic characteristics that could be driving changes in the structure of the urban forest and ecosystem services provided. Management implications are also discussed.

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