City trees and their eco system services
Each and every day, nature offers us goods, services and experiences for our use and pleasure, most often completely free of charge. We take for granted that nature will provide us with food and fuel as well as services like pollinating plants and purifying the air we breathe. Nature’s greenery also helps increase our quality of life by offering possibilities for recreation, relaxation and aesthetic enjoyment.
The concept of ecosystem services is used more and more often as a way of manifesting the ecosystem's contribution to people's well-being.
As more and more people move into towns and cities, green belts are becoming scarcer and scarcer, swallowed by new housing and social services. This takes place despite all the benefits we human beings gain from green areas in cities. Trees give us shade on warm summer days and protection on windy ones. Air pollutants fastens on trees' leaves, thus purifying the air we breathe. Green plants also reduce the risk of flooding, since the water from violent cloudbursts collects in trees' foliage and can run down into the ground under grass. On hard surfaces like asphalt, the water flows along the surface instead and collects in hollows. In sustainable cities, green areas are a great asset. It is essential to make people realise the value of greenery.
Some of the researchers in the Botanical Garden are studying how the city's green areas are contributing to various ecosystem services. The tree collections in Botaniska are an important resource for investigating which trees are most suitable for the tough cultivation demands of the city environment.
Which types of tree are best at filtering out air pollutants, thereby improving air quality in cities?
Which trees are most suitable for growing in cities and why? Read more about Henrik Sjöman's research on city trees.
The city's greenery contributes to cleaner air. Read more about how Gothenburg's greenery is being mapped.