Carbon lost and carbon gained: A study of vegetation and carbon trade-offs among diverse land uses in Phoenix, Arizona: A

Melissa R. McHale, Sharon Hall, Anandamayee Majumdar, Nancy Grimm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Human modification and management of urban landscapes drastically alters vegetation and soils, thereby altering carbon (C) storage and rates of net primary productivity (NPP). Complex social and ecological processes drive vegetation cover in cities, leading to heterogeneity in C dynamics depending on regional climate, land use, and land cover. Recent work has demonstrated homogenization in ecological processes within human-dominated landscapes (the urban convergence hypothesis) in soils and biotic communities. However, a lack of information on vegetation in arid land cities has hindered an understanding of potential C storage and NPP convergence across a diversity of ecosystem types. We estimated C storage and NPP of trees and shrubs for six different land-use types in the arid metropolis of Phoenix, Arizona, USA, and compared those results to native desert ecosystems, as well as other urban and natural systems around the world. Results from Phoenix do not support the convergence hypothesis. In particular, C storage in urban trees and shrubs was 42% of that found in desert vegetation, while NPP was only 20% of the total NPP estimated for comparable natural ecosystems. Furthermore, the overall estimates of C storage and NPP associated with urban trees in the CAP ecosystem were much lower (8-63%) than the other cities included in this analysis. We also found that C storage (175.25-388.94 g/m2) and NPP (8.07-15.99 g·m-2·yr-1) were dominated by trees in the urban residential land uses, while in the desert, shrubs were the primary source for pools (183.65 g/m2) and fluxes (6.51 g·m-2·yr-1). These results indicate a trade-off between shrubs and trees in arid ecosystems, with shrubs playing a major role in overall C storage and NPP in deserts and trees serving as the dominant C pool in cities. Our research supports current literature that calls for the development of spatially explicit and standardized methods for analyzing C dynamics associated with vegetation in urbanizing areas.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages644-661
Number of pages18
JournalEcological Applications
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Fingerprint

land use
productivity
vegetation
carbon
shrub
desert
ecosystem
regional climate
trade-off
vegetation cover
land cover
soil
city

Keywords

  • carbon storage
  • desert city
  • land-use change
  • net primary productivity
  • urban forest
  • urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Carbon lost and carbon gained : A study of vegetation and carbon trade-offs among diverse land uses in Phoenix, Arizona: A. / McHale, Melissa R.; Hall, Sharon; Majumdar, Anandamayee; Grimm, Nancy.

In: Ecological Applications, Vol. 27, No. 2, 01.03.2017, p. 644-661.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{e34750ddc30448c89e7add703b972dd9,
title = "Carbon lost and carbon gained: A study of vegetation and carbon trade-offs among diverse land uses in Phoenix, Arizona: A",
abstract = "Human modification and management of urban landscapes drastically alters vegetation and soils, thereby altering carbon (C) storage and rates of net primary productivity (NPP). Complex social and ecological processes drive vegetation cover in cities, leading to heterogeneity in C dynamics depending on regional climate, land use, and land cover. Recent work has demonstrated homogenization in ecological processes within human-dominated landscapes (the urban convergence hypothesis) in soils and biotic communities. However, a lack of information on vegetation in arid land cities has hindered an understanding of potential C storage and NPP convergence across a diversity of ecosystem types. We estimated C storage and NPP of trees and shrubs for six different land-use types in the arid metropolis of Phoenix, Arizona, USA, and compared those results to native desert ecosystems, as well as other urban and natural systems around the world. Results from Phoenix do not support the convergence hypothesis. In particular, C storage in urban trees and shrubs was 42{\%} of that found in desert vegetation, while NPP was only 20{\%} of the total NPP estimated for comparable natural ecosystems. Furthermore, the overall estimates of C storage and NPP associated with urban trees in the CAP ecosystem were much lower (8-63{\%}) than the other cities included in this analysis. We also found that C storage (175.25-388.94 g/m2) and NPP (8.07-15.99 g·m-2·yr-1) were dominated by trees in the urban residential land uses, while in the desert, shrubs were the primary source for pools (183.65 g/m2) and fluxes (6.51 g·m-2·yr-1). These results indicate a trade-off between shrubs and trees in arid ecosystems, with shrubs playing a major role in overall C storage and NPP in deserts and trees serving as the dominant C pool in cities. Our research supports current literature that calls for the development of spatially explicit and standardized methods for analyzing C dynamics associated with vegetation in urbanizing areas.",
keywords = "carbon storage, desert city, land-use change, net primary productivity, urban forest, urbanization",
author = "McHale, {Melissa R.} and Sharon Hall and Anandamayee Majumdar and Nancy Grimm",
year = "2017",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/eap.1472",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "27",
pages = "644--661",
journal = "Ecological Appplications",
issn = "1051-0761",
publisher = "Ecological Society of America",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Carbon lost and carbon gained

T2 - Ecological Appplications

AU - McHale, Melissa R.

AU - Hall, Sharon

AU - Majumdar, Anandamayee

AU - Grimm, Nancy

PY - 2017/3/1

Y1 - 2017/3/1

N2 - Human modification and management of urban landscapes drastically alters vegetation and soils, thereby altering carbon (C) storage and rates of net primary productivity (NPP). Complex social and ecological processes drive vegetation cover in cities, leading to heterogeneity in C dynamics depending on regional climate, land use, and land cover. Recent work has demonstrated homogenization in ecological processes within human-dominated landscapes (the urban convergence hypothesis) in soils and biotic communities. However, a lack of information on vegetation in arid land cities has hindered an understanding of potential C storage and NPP convergence across a diversity of ecosystem types. We estimated C storage and NPP of trees and shrubs for six different land-use types in the arid metropolis of Phoenix, Arizona, USA, and compared those results to native desert ecosystems, as well as other urban and natural systems around the world. Results from Phoenix do not support the convergence hypothesis. In particular, C storage in urban trees and shrubs was 42% of that found in desert vegetation, while NPP was only 20% of the total NPP estimated for comparable natural ecosystems. Furthermore, the overall estimates of C storage and NPP associated with urban trees in the CAP ecosystem were much lower (8-63%) than the other cities included in this analysis. We also found that C storage (175.25-388.94 g/m2) and NPP (8.07-15.99 g·m-2·yr-1) were dominated by trees in the urban residential land uses, while in the desert, shrubs were the primary source for pools (183.65 g/m2) and fluxes (6.51 g·m-2·yr-1). These results indicate a trade-off between shrubs and trees in arid ecosystems, with shrubs playing a major role in overall C storage and NPP in deserts and trees serving as the dominant C pool in cities. Our research supports current literature that calls for the development of spatially explicit and standardized methods for analyzing C dynamics associated with vegetation in urbanizing areas.

AB - Human modification and management of urban landscapes drastically alters vegetation and soils, thereby altering carbon (C) storage and rates of net primary productivity (NPP). Complex social and ecological processes drive vegetation cover in cities, leading to heterogeneity in C dynamics depending on regional climate, land use, and land cover. Recent work has demonstrated homogenization in ecological processes within human-dominated landscapes (the urban convergence hypothesis) in soils and biotic communities. However, a lack of information on vegetation in arid land cities has hindered an understanding of potential C storage and NPP convergence across a diversity of ecosystem types. We estimated C storage and NPP of trees and shrubs for six different land-use types in the arid metropolis of Phoenix, Arizona, USA, and compared those results to native desert ecosystems, as well as other urban and natural systems around the world. Results from Phoenix do not support the convergence hypothesis. In particular, C storage in urban trees and shrubs was 42% of that found in desert vegetation, while NPP was only 20% of the total NPP estimated for comparable natural ecosystems. Furthermore, the overall estimates of C storage and NPP associated with urban trees in the CAP ecosystem were much lower (8-63%) than the other cities included in this analysis. We also found that C storage (175.25-388.94 g/m2) and NPP (8.07-15.99 g·m-2·yr-1) were dominated by trees in the urban residential land uses, while in the desert, shrubs were the primary source for pools (183.65 g/m2) and fluxes (6.51 g·m-2·yr-1). These results indicate a trade-off between shrubs and trees in arid ecosystems, with shrubs playing a major role in overall C storage and NPP in deserts and trees serving as the dominant C pool in cities. Our research supports current literature that calls for the development of spatially explicit and standardized methods for analyzing C dynamics associated with vegetation in urbanizing areas.

KW - carbon storage

KW - desert city

KW - land-use change

KW - net primary productivity

KW - urban forest

KW - urbanization

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85014538982&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85014538982&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/eap.1472

DO - 10.1002/eap.1472

M3 - Article

VL - 27

SP - 644

EP - 661

JO - Ecological Appplications

JF - Ecological Appplications

SN - 1051-0761

IS - 2

ER -