Abstract Detail


Smith, Laura [1], Brosi, Sunshine L. [1], Mitchell, Hall [1].

Geospatial Analysis of Pest Vulnerability in Street Trees in the District of Columbia.

Urban forests are particularly at risk for biological stressors, such as insect pests and exotic diseases, because of diminished health caused by the abiotic stressors including compaction, nutrient deficiency, salinity, and pollution. Urban forests can be evaluated using tools such as the Pest Vulnerability Matrix (PVM), which assigns a numeric vulnerability score based on relative overall abundance of species/genera and their individuals risks of infestation or infection. Another approach is to evaluate biodiversity and species evenness using a biodiversity index. Our project incorporates spatial analysis with the above mentioned forest health parameters within the District of Columbia (D.C.). We explored PVM and diversity across specific management units to create a list of species to avoid in future plantings and suggestions of species to plant in order to achieve a more even species composition and lower PVM. We also used census data to look for a relationship between street tree species diversity and social factors such as household income. A relationship termed “the luxury effect”, where higher species diversity is present in wealthier areas within a city, has been described in other urban forests. Results show that the overall Pest Vulnerability Matrix score for D.C. was 11.88 and varied only across Wards from 10.89 -12.90. There was not a simple, linear relationship between pest vulnerability and biodiversity; some more diverse wards received high PVM scores based on the disproportionate percentage of “high risk” species. It is not only necessary to consider insulating with tree diversity, but to also utilize low risk families, genera, and species. In contrasts to other cities we found no significant relationship between household income and other measure of socioeconomic status and street tree diversity and pest vulnerability

1 - Frostburg State University, Biology, 101 Braddock Road, Frostburg, MD, 21532, USA

Urban Forestry
biological diversity
pest vulnerability.

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Abstract ID:54
Candidate for Awards:None