Speaker: Dr. Joy Winbourne, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
The expansion of urban tree canopy is a commonly proposed nature-based solution to combat the negative impacts of climate change and urbanization. The influence trees have on urban climates and cycling of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, depend on the biophysical responses of urban vegetation to the unique environmental conditions of the built environment. The heterogeneous nature of urban landscapes, unique vegetation assemblages, and land management decisions make it difficult to predict the spatial and temporal variability in the ecosystem services provided by urban vegetation.
This presentation will discuss two research projects that examine the response of vegetation to the process of urbanization. In the first project, Dr. Winbourne will share findings on the drivers influencing the extent to which urban vegetation can help cities combat extreme temperature events through the process of evapotranspiration. In the second project, Dr. Winbourne will share findings from a study examining the influence of urbanization on carbon dioxide fluxes from urban vegetation types, and the implications for developing effective monitoring systems that are necessary for guiding public policy decisions and monitoring their efficacy.