by G Churkina, R Grote, TM Butler, M Lawrence

Environmental Science & Policy 47:12-17


Cities around the world are undertaking large-scale tree planting initiatives for the provision of ecosystem services and to improve everyday urban life. These trees, however, have the capacity to significantly impact air quality by increasing levels of BVOCs, a precursor to ground-level ozone. The authors here argue that insufficient attention is being paid to this problem. They offer a number of recommendations including raising awareness of the relationship of BVOCs to air quality, promoting policies that massively reduce NOx levels (in the absence of NOx, ozone will not form from BVOCs), and acknowledging that, in many cases, the “natural” ecosystem must give way to one that reflects a “coupled natural-human ecosystem.”

Publication Type: Journal article
Keywords: air quality, BVOCs, policy, tree planting initiative, urban forestry, and urban greening