Factors driving natural regeneration beneath a planted urban forest

Factors driving natural regeneration beneath a planted urban forest


Cities around the world are investing in urban forest plantings as a form of green infrastructure. The aim is that these plantations will develop into naturally-regenerating native forest stands. However, woody plant recruitment is often cited as the most limiting factor to creating self-sustaining urban forests. As such, there is interest in site treatments that promote recruitment of  native woody species and simultaneously suppress woody non-native recruitment. This study assesses the three common site treatments (compost, nurse shrubs, and tree species compositions) affected woody plant recruitment in 54 experimental plots beneath a large-scale tree planting within a high-traffic urban forested park in Queens, New York City. The study found the combination of nurse shrubs and compost encouraged natural regeneration, but must be followed up with ongoing management to sustain natural regeneration.

In a nutshell, this resource offers:

  • Findings that explain presence/absence of natural regeneration in planted or afforested urban natural areas.
  • Recommendations on how to improve natural regeneration in urban forested natural areas.
  • Descriptions of factors, such as available light in the understory and proximity to edges, that affect natural regenerations.

How to use this resource:

  • As a citation that supports the need for ongoing management of an urban forested natural area.
  • As a source for management recommendations to increase natural regeneration in urban forested natural areas.

Authors: Danica A. Doroski, Alexander J. Felson, Mark A. Bradford, Mark P. Ashton, Emily E. Oldfield, Richard A. Hallett, Sara E. Kuebbing

Date published: 2018

Point of contact: Danica Doroski, Urban Forestry Coordinator for Connecticut, Danica.doroski@ct.gov 

Citation: Doroski, D. A.; Felson, A. J.; Bradford, M. A.; Ashton, M. P.; Oldfield, E. E.; Hallett, R. A.; Kuebbing, S. E. 2018. Factors driving natural regeneration beneath a planted urban forest. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. 29: 238-247. 

Resource is available online here.

 

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