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Inventory and Analysis of the Urban Forest Resources of San Antonio, TexasThrough a partnership between U.S. Forest Service programs iTree and Forest Inventory and Analysis, and Texas A&M Forest Service, an inventory of the urban forest of San Antonio, Texas was conducted. Using a sample-based inventory approach, the inventory was collected across all land ownerships and uses. Preliminary analysis of the collected data revealed that this area had an estimated 137.8 million live trees (73.8% were saplings) and 8.3 million standing dead trees (69.9% saplings). Of the 64 species found, Ashe juniper was the most common (29.6% of total). These trees held an estimated above ground net volume of about 206.4 million cubic feet, and stored around 3.5 million tons of carbon. Evaluations were made of traditional forest health categories (e.g., insects, diseases, weather) referred to as “damages”, as well as urban specific parameters (e.g., overhead wires, improper planting) referred to as “infrastructure issues”. The only damage recorded on more than 1% of trees was stem decay (34% of trees), while bark inclusion, affecting 2% of trees, was the most common infrastructure issue. Of the 267 plots in the survey, 17.9% had at least one invasive species observed. Japanese privet was found on the greatest number of plots, but Chinaberry was the invasive species estimated to cover the greatest area, at 3201 acres or 0.5% of total survey area. The trees of San Antonio contributed many ecosystem services. They were estimated to annually remove about 320,000 tons of carbon, valued at $54.5 million per year; removed about 6,600 tons of air pollution (valued at $61.9 million) per year; provided an estimated 381.7 million cubic feet of avoided stormwater runoff, valued at $25.5 million per year; and were estimated to reduce annual energy costs of residential buildings by $21.4 million per year. Presented by Kerry Dooley from USFS, Forest Inventory and Analysis at the 2021 SAF National Virtual Convention.
Inventory and Analysis of the Urban Forest Resources of San Antonio, Texas
Remote Sensing-based Change Analysis of Windbreaks in Agricultural Areas of the Central U.S.Agroforestry practices such as windbreaks play an important role in agricultural areas of the United States. These trees provide many ecological functions on the landscape such as protecting soil, crops, wildlife habitat, and storing carbon. Thousands of miles of windbreaks were planted between 1935 and 1942 from Texas to North Dakota as a response to the Dust Bowl. Current anecdotal evidence suggests widespread decreases in the number of windbreaks from both natural decline and human removal. There is, however, little consistently collected data at the scale required to monitor changes to these linear patches of trees. We propose using high-resolution mapping methods to quantify change in the windbreak resource in Antelope County, NE, between 2006 and 2016. This period of time is of particular interest because it includes years with very high crop prices due to a variety of factors including drought-impacted supply and biofuel policies. In turn, these factors may have led to increased removals. We used NAIP imagery from the aforementioned years to conduct a change analysis of existing windbreaks and validated the results using line-intersect sampling and manual photo interpretation. This information is useful for natural resource professionals and land managers to help fill in the data gaps regarding these important working trees and to identify trends for future resource planning. Presented by Todd Kellerman from USDA Forest Service at the 2021 SAF National Virtual Convention.
Remote Sensing-based Change Analysis of Windbreaks in Agricultural Areas of the Central U.S.
Tree Advisor: A Regionally-based Prototype Tool for Selecting Woody Plants for Conservation and ProductionTools to help select woody species that will function more effectively than other species for production and conservation purposes are generally lacking. To fill this gap, the USDA National Agroforestry Center has developed a decision support tool to help landowners and planners select better species of trees and shrubs to achieve a suite of user-defined purposes. In this online tool, over 90 species of trees and shrubs are rated for 14 different purposes in the northern and central Great Plains. Purposes rated in this tool include: 1) alley cropping, 2) aquatic habitat, 3) carbon sequestration, 4) flood protection, 5) native ecosystem restoration, 6) particle drift reduction, 7) pollinator habitat, 8) polluted runoff treatment, 9) streambank stabilization, 10) storm & wastewater treatment, 11) wetland restoration, 12) wildlife habitat, 13) visual aesthetics, and 14) view & noise screen. “Higher-rated” species of trees and shrubs are those that function relatively better than other species for specific purposes. Ratings were developed by considering geographic suitability of each species for 12 different sub-regions and algorithms based on plant characteristics that make a species relatively better (or worse) for each specific purpose. The tool also allows searching for specific plant attributes, including products that can be produced from the species. This resource enables the user to quickly develop a short list of the better species to use which can be refined based on suitability under local site conditions, commercial availability, and availability of locally-adapted cultivars and hybrids. This tool can be found at: www.fs.usda.gov/nac-plant-guide and may serve as a prototype for developing multi-purpose woody plant selection guides for other U.S. regions. Presented by Gary Bentrup from USDA National Agroforestry Center at the 2021 SAF National Virtual Convention.
Tree Advisor: A Regionally-based Prototype Tool for Selecting Woody Plants for Conservation and Production
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