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The role of urban trees for biodiversity and ecosystem services


Trees are indispensable elements to make cities livable environments for natural organisms and humans. At the same time, urban trees are facing adverse living conditions, such as limited rooting space and water resources as well as impacts due to road salt and other pollutants. This pre-project investigates the state of knowledge about the capabilities and prerequisites of urban trees to serve as habitat and connectivity-elements for other organisms, and about their performance of other ecosystem services such as temperature regulation, air filtering and recreation. It further assesses how far this knowledge is applicable for the city of Zurich, and what future research is needed considering the ecosystem services of urban trees and the technical and planning prerequisites for their performance.