Multiple ecosystem services and disservices of the urban forest establishing their connections with landscape structure and sociodemographics
Dobbs, C and Kendal, D and Nitschke, CR, Multiple ecosystem services and disservices of the urban forest establishing their connections with landscape structure and sociodemographics, Ecological Indicators, 43 pp. 44-55. ISSN 1470-160X (2014) [Refereed Article]
The promotion of sustainable cities is critical under future environmental change and population growth. Cities in the present and future can ensure the provision of ecosystem services to their urban inhabitants. The urban forest is one of the main suppliers of ecosystem services in urban areas, and can provide the base information to quantify ecosystem services and disservices, detecting the areas were low provision of those occur. In this study multiple ecosystem services and disservices were quantified using transferable indicators in order to detect areas for environmental improvement. The set of spatially explicit indicators enables the detection of areas of low and high provision of ecosystem services. The analysis showed synergies existing among regulating, provisioning and supporting services, while trade-offs were found with cultural services and regulating, provisioning and supporting services. Ecosystem services provision was positively related to the amount of vegetation and negatively related to its degree of fragmentation. A high provision of ecosystem services was found in less populated areas, with more educated and affluent people, highlighting the strong relations existing between social vulnerabilities and areas of low provision of services. Results from this research provide insights on the role of policy makers on better distributed supply of ecosystem services and on how the landscape structure can be modified to plan for sustainable cities.