Project

A Tree's Life: Citizen-Science Tree Growth Project

Goal: The objectives of the project are to understand how climate and urbanization affect tree growth and health, and thus ecological services like carbon sequestration and air and water filtration.
http://ecoipm.org/a-trees-life/

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Project log

Michael G Just
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Tree-stem growth is an important metric for evaluating many ecological and silvicultural research questions. However, answering these questions may require monitoring growth on many individual trees that span changing environments and geographies, which can incur significant costs. Recently, citizen science has been successfully employed as a cost-effective approach to collect data for large-scale projects that also increases scientific awareness. Still, citizen-science-led tree-growth monitoring requires the use of tools that are affordable, understandable, and accurate. Here, we compare an inexpensive, easy-to-install dendrometer band to two other bands that are more expensive with more complex installations. We installed a series of three dendrometers on 31 red maples (Acer rubrum) in two urban areas in the eastern United States. We found that the stem-growth measurements reported by these dendrometers were highly correlated and, thus, validate the utility of the inexpensive band.
Michael G Just
added an update
Project goal
The objectives of the project are to understand how climate and urbanization affect tree growth and health, and thus ecological services like carbon sequestration and air and water filtration.
Background and motivation
A Tree’s Life is a project to monitor red maple (Acer rubrum) growth in yards.
Our goal is to measure adult tree growth in urban, suburban, and rural areas with the help of volunteer citizen scientists. We will provide the citizen scientists with a dendrometer, a tool that measures tree trunk growth without injuring the tree.
Although this seems very simple, it provides valuable data to determine how different altitudes, latitudes, and urban conditions affect tree growth and carbon sequestration. Ultimately, we plan to have citizens measuring thousands of trees across the country.