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Title:Ecological Implications of Urban and Community Tree Care in Illinois
Author(s):Sass, Laura L.; Key, Sue; Hildebrandt, Reinee
Subject(s):Urban Forestry
Tree Care
Tree City USA
Community Accomplishments Reporting System
benefits of trees
Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Urban and Community Forestry Program
Abstract:Tree City USA (TCU) has worked with communities across the United States to enhance their urban 99forests, thereby providing oxygen, air conditioning, pollution and temperature reduction, wind breaks, and habitat for urban wildlife. It is well known that the endeavors of TCU have increased the aesthetics and health of urban centers in Illinois as well as across the nation. However, no one has quantitatively measured the ecological significance of this program and benefits of TCU status at a state-wide scale. This project considered tree land cover, stream water quality, bird species diversity, and the fish index of biotic integrity(IBI) across communities in correlation with Tree City USA status and level of tree care in communities based on the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service’s annual state reporting system, the Community Accomplishments Reporting System (CARS).Illinois is comprised of varying topographic, geographic, and sociologic regions ranging from bluffs, to extensive farm land, to major urban centers. To address this regional variation the state was divided into three regions: Northeastern, Central, and Southern Illinois based on county boundaries. We found significantly more bird species observations during spring and fall migration Tree City communities compared to non-Tree City communities. Communities with sustaining tree care programs (as assessed by CARS) had significantly more birds species observed than communities with no tree care or developing tree care programs, especially in the spring and fall. Tree canopy cover, stream water quality parameters, and fish IBI did not correlate with Tree City communities, indicating that the benefits of the TCU program to these ecosystems may be at a more local scale. These preliminary analyses suggest the opportunity and need for further and more localized or smaller-scale research.
Issue Date:2011-06-01
Publisher:Illinois Natural History Survey
Series/Report:Technical Report INHS 2011 (18)
Genre:Report (Grant or Annual)
Technical Report
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Sponsor:Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Urban and Community Forestry Program; Delivered October 20, 2010 Grant/Contract No: RC082710
Rights Information:This document is a product of the Illinois Natural History Survey, and has been selected and made available by the Illinois Natural History Survey and the University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It is intended solely for noncommercial research and educational use, and proper attribution is requested.
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-09-23

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