Studying UBC’s Urban Trees

Dr Sarah Gergel and undergraduate student Ira Sutherland investigated the effects of UBC’s changing landscape as the built environment expanded during 2004-2009. Ecosystem services provided by the UBC campus urban trees are at risk of declining as UBC campus expands its built infrastructure.

This study provides a better understanding of the benefits provided by UBC’s urban trees and elucidate possible implications of canopy reductions. Through a geospatial analysis this study estimates canopy cover and canopy structure changes at four study areas on the UBC Vancouver campus.

At one of the study sites, placed in the south campus, canopy cover declined from 57% to 33% during the study period 2004-2009, which likely translates to a substantial decline in ecosystem services. At present, there is no policy in place for tree canopy conservation on UBC campus. This study provides the basis of knowledge needed to evaluate potential policy initiatives.

Read the published article on the UBC Library’s website.


Sarah Gergel

Sarah Gergel
Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences
Forest Sciences Centre 3024
2424 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
Phone: 604–827–5163

Ira Sutherland
UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest
14500 Silver Valley Road
Maple Ridge, B.C.
V4R 2R3
Phone: 778-848-7812