by C Dobbs, FJ Escobedo, WC Zipperer
Landscape and Urban Planning 99:196-2062011
This article offers a first approach to non-monetary valuation of urban forest ecosystem services and goods in the form of indicators, which are numerical values that summarize information about the condition of an ecosystem. To develop the indicators, 98 random urban plots (400 m2) were inventoried in Gainesville, Florida, for tree, vegetation, and cover data, and soil samples were collected. A number of ecosystem services were identified (e.g., maintenance of air quality, soil quality, and favorable climate; filtering of dust particles and reduction of noise; maintenance of biological diversity; and recreation and aesthetic services). Disservices (e.g., fruit fall, allergenicity) were also included. Each plot was then given an indicator rating (1-3) for each ecosystem service. The most influential variables for the developed indicators were tree cover, soil pH, and soil organic matter. Socioeconomic factors (e.g., years since development, property value, household income) were analyzed against the indicators, but no significant relationships were found.