CUT – Climate and Urban Trees. Effects of trees on urban climates during climate change
The international research project - funded by the DFG Middle East Cooperation – aims to quantify growth and ecosystem services of urban trees in cities along a climate gradient. The effects of urban microclimate on tree growth and their related services (shading, cooling, carbon storage) under current climate and future climate change scenarios will be quantified. In addition to cities with a temperate climate in Germany, cities in Israel, Palestine and Jordan with Mediterranean and arid climate will be analysed (Fig. 1).
The collected data will be used to study growth patterns and morphological characteristics of urban trees and their relationship to the microclimate. Permanent tree laboratories will be installed to collect meteorological data as well as continuous growth and water balance measurements at urban trees with high temporal resolution. Within the project the effects of the urban microclimate on tree growth in terms of stress (heat stress, water limitation and drought) will be analysed, the impacts of the environment on ecosystem services of urban trees (C-storage, cooling, shading) along the chosen climate gradient will be simulated by different models. Morphologic and eco-physiological tree measurements will be combined with model approaches for the quantification of growth and ecosystem services (CityTree model). Using their results and microclimatic modelling (Green CTTC model) statements can be drawn for a sustainable management of urban green spaces.
The following investigations will be conducted during the project
- Analysis of the effect of urban trees on urban ecosystems in terms of ameliorating the microclimate and human well-being benefits depending on (i) tree growth and vitality (ii) tree species (iii) tree canopy characteristics (iv) climate region of the city and (v) specific site conditions including site morphology, built surfaces and anthropogenic factors
- Investigating the influence of both micro-scales (park, street canyon, open square) and macro-scale (climate region) conditions on growth patterns of urban trees regarding drought stress, species characteristics and irrigation regimes
- Analysis of micro- and macro-scale climate features on the provided ecosystem services (C-fixation, transpirational cooling, shading, surface run-off)
- Assessment and simulation of urban tree growth and ecosystem services provided by urban trees stands under different climatic scenarios at micro- and macro-scale
- Upscaling of growth and services from single trees to tree rows, squares and parks by combining modelling approaches and draw conclusions for future green infrastructure planning
Following partners are among others involved in the project
- Chair of Forest Growth and Yield Science, Technical University Munich (Coordination)
- Chair for Strategic Landscape Planning and Management, Technical University Munich
- Dead Sea and Arava Science Center Israel (DSASC)
- Partners of the Middle East (University and Research Centers in Israel, Jordan and Palestine)
Prof. Dr. Thomas Rötzer
Chair of Forest Growth and Yield Science, TU Munich