Twelve year change in tree diversity and spatial segregation in the Mediterranean city of Santiago, Chile
Tree diversity is one of the most important components of urban ecosystems, because it provides multiple ecological benefits and contributes to human well-being. However, the distribution of urban trees may be spatially segregated and change over time. To provide insights for a better distribution of tree diversity in a socially segregated city, we evaluated spatial segregation in the abundance and diversity of trees by socioeconomic group and their change over a 12-year period in Santiago, Chile. Two hundred vegetation plots were sampled across Santiago in 2002 and 2014. We found that overall abundance and diversity of urban trees for the entire city were stable over 12 years, whereas species richness and abundance of native tree species increased. There was segregation in tree species richness and abundance by socioeconomic group, with wealthier areas having more species and greater abundance of trees (for all tree species and native species) than poorer ones. Tree community composition and structure varied with socioeconomic group, but we found no evidence of increased homogenization of the urban forest in that 12 years. Our findings revealed that although tree diversity and abundance for the entire city did not change in our 12-year period, there were important inequities in abundance and diversity of urban trees by socioeconomic group. Given that 43% of homes in Santiago are in the lower socioeconomic areas, our study highlights the importance of targeting tree planting, maintenance and educational programs in these areas to reduce inequalities in the distribution of trees.
Artículo de publicación ISI
Quote ItemUrban Forestry & Urban Greening, 29 (2018): 10–18
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