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Ecological vulnerability of urban green infrastructure to Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico
Abstract and Figures
Rapid assessments of the change in ecosystem services derived from coarse woody vegetation were performed for three municipalities (San Juan, Ponce, Mayagüez) in the island of Puerto Rico following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The assessments used two approaches (fine-scale and landscape-level) using computer models within the suite of i-Tree tools (i-Tree Canopy and i-Tree Eco) developed by the US Forest Service. The fine-scale approach evaluated services using ground forest measurements in selected San Juan localities and the landscape approach evaluated services in San Juan, Ponce and Mayagüez using photo interpretation of remotely-sensed imagery. Here we present a highlight of the findings of these analyses followed by general recommendations based on results and past experience with urban forest monitoring by the research group. While we are confident in the methodologies used, there are inherent assumptions in the field and modeling approaches. Therefore, the results presented here must be interpreted as estimates with a range of uncertainty rather than absolute values.
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