Investigating Land-Use Change on Street Tree Ecosystems

Author(s):Thomas Turnbull1, Sharon Jean-Philippe1, Raymond Albright1, David Buckley1, Sean Schaeffer2, P. Eric Wiseman3

In the early 1940’s, during the early stages of the Manhattan Project (WWII), of rural communities in Anderson County, Tennessee was rapidly converted into laboratory facilities and the city of Oak Ridge. The environment that became Oak Ridge not only experienced pollutants from the laboratory activities, but also alterations from the land-use change from rural to urban areas. Therefore, a study was conducted to determine the impacts of land-use change from rural to urban area on 1) street tree diversity and performance; and 2) the biological, chemical and physical properties, and nutrient dynamics of street tree ecosystem soils. There were a total of 607 street trees, composed of 37 different species, on the five main roadways in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The street tree inventory revealed that the street tree ecosystems had a high relative abundance of Acer rubrum (21.91%) and Pyrus calleryana (19.93%). Chemical, rather than physical, soil and site properties in street tree ecosystems had the greatest impact on street tree performance. Soils differed street by street in their biological, chemical, and physical properties but were not influenced by traffic rates. There were also differences in soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) during the winter on streets based on their diversity of trees; however, the most diverse street was among the lowest in soil microbial biomass. Seasonally, the winter proved to not only have greater amounts of soil microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen (MBN), but significantly less extractable organic carbon (EOC) and nitrogen (EON) and total labile carbon (TLC) than that in the spring. Overall, this study provided insights into the post urbanization impacts on the street trees, soils, sites, and nutrient dynamics within street tree ecosystems of Oak Ridge.


Journal: Open Journal of Forestry
DOI: 10.4236/ojf.2014.45051 (PDF)
Paper Id: 50600 (metadata)

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