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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Lutz, Connor [1], Emry, Jason [2], Thompson, Ties [3].

An Analysis of Campus and Community Canopy Cover of Seven Schools in Kansas and Missouri.

Urban forestry has become the subject of increased research due to its role in the local ecosystem dynamics and impact on the well being of individuals who reside in the community. Community forests increase CO2 fixation, improve air quality by removing fine particulates, and serve as natural corridors through which animal movement can be aided. With the increased recognition of the value of urban forests, city planners and private citizens are taking an interest in estimating the value that canopy cover on public and private property. Colleges and universities can play an important role in maintaining or increasing tree cover and/or habitat connectivity within their communities due their relatively large areal coverage compared to the surrounding community properties. The goal of this study was to determine if how the land covers of seven schools on similar latitude compare with each other as well as their immediate surrounding communities. We used i-Tree software to estimate the percent cover of nine different land cover types on each campus and the adjoining community. ANOSIM analysis indicated that land cover on campuses differed significantly from that seen in the surrounding communities (p<0.01). Bray-Curtis similarity values were calculated for each campus/community pair to determine if any campus was particularly different from its community. This comparison revealed that only one campus fell outside of the 95% confidence interval of the calculated similarity values. Canopy cover ranged from 8.27% to 23% of campuses and from 14.5% to 48% of their corresponding communities. Community tree cover generally decreases from eastern Missouri to western Kansas. The campuses are less so and are also distinct from their communities due to their infrastructures containing a number of large buildings and other impervious surfaces. Future studies should address the impact these campuses have on their communities with the movement of some species through natural corridors. Campuses with lower cover than their communities may serve as an inhibitory zone to the movement of animals, an effect possibly due to both a lack of canopy cover and increase in impervious surfaces.

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1 - Washburn University, Biology, 1700 SW College Ave, Topeka, KS, 66621, USA
2 - 1952 Miller Dr, Lawrence, KS, 66046, USA
3 - Washburn University, Biology, 1700 SW College Ave., Topeka, KS, 66621, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PCB011
Abstract ID:1101
Candidate for Awards:None

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