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UK urban forest can store as much carbon as tropical rainforests
Time: 2018-07-04    BY Natasha Downes   From: University College London   Clicks: 540
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Pockets of urban forest can contain as much carbon as tropical rainforests, according to new research led by UCL.

Protecting and planting urban forests is central to building liveable and sustainable cities in a future where global populations are set to become increasingly urbanised. This research sheds new light on the value of urban trees for their potential to store carbon and mitigate climate change.

The new study, published in Carbon Balance and Management, used publicly-available airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data collected by the UK Environment Agency, combined with ground-based LiDAR measurements, to generate a map of carbon stored in an estimated 85,000 trees across the London Borough of Camden.

The UCL team found that areas such as Hampstead Heath store up to 178 tonnes of carbon per ha, in comparison to the median value for tropical rainforests of 190 tonnes of carbon per ha.

"Urban trees are a vital resource for our cities that people walk past every day. We were able to map the size and shape of every tree in Camden, from forests in large parks to individual trees in back gardens. This not only allows us to measure how much carbon is stored in these trees but also assess other important services they provide such as habitat for birds and insects," said lead author on the study, Dr Phil Wilkes (UCL Geography).

 

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