Session: Social-Ecological Drivers of Change in Urban Forest Patches
Conceptualizing social-ecological drivers of urban forest patch condition
Monday, August 2, 2021
Link To Share This Presentation: https://cdmcd.co/83bDyW
Michelle L. Johnson, Northern Research Station, NYC Urban Field Station, USDA Forest Service, Bayside, NY, Lea R. Johnson, Division of Research and Conservation, Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA, Myla F.J. Aronson, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, Lindsay K. Campbell, Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Megan E. Carr, Plant Science & Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, Mysha Clarke, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, Vincent D'Amico III, Dexter H. Locke and Nancy F. Sonti, Northern Research Station, Baltimore Urban Field Station, USDA Forest Service, Baltimore, MD, Lindsay E. Darling, Chicago Region Trees Initiative, The Morton Aboretum, Lisle, IL, Tedward Erker, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, Robert Fahey and Anita T. Morzillo, Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, Kristen King, Forestry, Horticulture & Natural Resources, NYC Parks, Long Island City, NY, Katherine Lautar, Baltimore Greenspace, Baltimore, MD, Stephanie Pincetl, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, Luke Rhodes, Fairmont Park Conservancy, Philadelphia, PA, JP Schmidt, Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit, USDA ARS, University Park, PA, Lydia Scott, Chicago Region Trees Initiative, The Morton Arboretum, Chicago, IL
Michelle L. Johnson
Northern Research Station, NYC Urban Field Station, USDA Forest Service Bayside, New York, United States
Background/Question/Methods Urban forest patches are a type of urban green infrastructure that can contribute to ecological functioning and sustainability in cities (Kowarik 2011; Elmqvist et al. 2015) and to residents’ well-being (Tyrväinen et al. 2005; Berg et al. 2007; Korpela et al. 2010; Hauru et al. 2012; Song et al. 2016). At the same time, urban forest patches are subject to a variety of pressures. Conceptualizing these forests as a social-ecological system (Vogt et al. 2015) and integrating systems thinking into land management decision-making are key for long-term efforts to promote health, sustainability, and conservation of these important habitats. Here, we introduce a conceptual model of the urban forest patch as a complex social-ecological system, incorporating cross-scale interactions. We developed this model through an interdisciplinary process engaging social and ecological scientists and urban land management decision makers, with a focus on temperate forest social-ecological systems. We place the production and management of urban forest patches in historical perspective, present a conceptual model of urban forest patches within a broader regional context, and identify a series of research questions to highlight future directions for research on urban forest patches. Results/Conclusions By conceptualizing social-ecological effects on the condition of urban forest patch assemblages within a metropolitan region, we have synthesized multi-scalar concepts from a set of social and ecological disciplines and areas of expertise, including human and physical geography; urban, plant community, restoration, landscape, and ecosystem ecology; community organizing and NGO administration; public land management; sociology; and human dimensions of natural resources. Our interdisciplinary conceptual model of urban forest patches as social-ecological systems with cross-scale interactions identifies questions about the patterns and processes of system components and their interactions. This urban forest patch model serves as a starting point from which to systematically examine these and other social-ecological questions about urban forest patches. We recognize that our model is a simplification of the system and anticipate that future empirical work may untangle complexity among. This conceptual model identifies how spatial and temporal social-ecological drivers interact with patch-level conditions at multiple scales. Our integrative approach can provide insights into the role of social-ecological drivers in shaping forest health, biodiversity, and benefits forest patches provide to people in urban and urbanizing regions, with direct implications for decision-making to improve management outcomes.