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Street trees in Bangalore: Density , diversity, composition and distribution

By Harini Nagendra and Divya Gopal

Abstract

Once renowned as India’s ‘‘gardencity’’, the fast growing southern Indian city of Bangalore is rapidly losing tree cover in public spaces including on roads. This study aims to study the distribution of street trees in Bangalore, to assess differences in tree density ,size and species composition across roads of different widths, and to investigate changes in planting practices overtime. A spatially stratified approach was used for sampling with 152transects of200m length distributed across wide roads\ud (with awidthof24morgreater),mediumsizedroads(12–24m) and narrow roads(lessthan12m).\ud We find thedensityofstreettrees inBangaloretobe lower thanmany otherAsiancities.Species diversity is high ,withthemostdominantspeciesaccountingforlessthan10%oftheoverallpopulation.\ud Narrowroads,usuallyincongestedresidentialneighborhoods,havefewertrees,smallersizedtree\ud species,andalowerspeciesdiversitycomparedtowideroads.Sincewideroadsarebeingfelledoftrees\ud acrossthecityforroadwidening,thisimpliesthatBangalore’sstreettreepopulationisbeingselectively\ud denudedofitslargesttrees.Oldertreeshaveamorediversedistributionwithseverallargesized\ud species,whileyoungtreescomefromalessdiversespeciesset,largelydominatedbysmallstatured\ud specieswithnarrowcanopies,whichhavealowercapacitytoabsorbatmosphericpollutants,mitigate\ud urban heatislandeffects,stabilizesoil,preventgroundwaterrunoff,andsequestercarbon. This has\ud serious implications for the city’s environmental and ecological health.These results highlighttheneed\ud to protect large street trees on wide roads from treefelling, and to select an appropriate anddiversemix\ud of largeandsmallsizedtreespeciesfornewplanting

Topics: G Journal Papers
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.ufug.2009.12.005
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.atree.org:37
Provided by: ePrints@ATREE
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