Emma Bacon

MSc Candidate in Biology

Concordia University

Carly Ziter, Concordia University; Alain Paquette, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

em_bacon@live.concordia.ca mail_outline

Interests and Expertise

urban forest biodiversity, ecosystem services, urban gradients

Short description of Project

A diverse urban forest is important for city-wide biodiversity and can maintain ecosystem services in the face of environmental changes. Tree composition and structure vary with different green space types, which in turn influences tree biodiversity across urban landscapes and alters the ecosystem services an area receives. Historically, public data alone was the basis for calculating urban forest diversity, yet recent studies suggest that this is not fully representative of urban forest composition, structure, and benefits. Underestimating the composition of the urban forest may hinder our understanding of the role of trees in shaping urban biodiversity. To expand on work investigating the contribution of private green spaces to the urban forest, I aim explore how patterns of urban forest diversity and structure are distributed throughout the city by combining traditionally used public tree inventories with private tree data collected at key points across the urban landscape. The data collected in my project will allow us to (i) accurately estimate Montréal’s urban forest diversity across different green space types and neighbourhoods, and (ii) study the effect of the urbanization gradient and socioeconomic factors on the composition and structure of the urban forest.

Short description of internship with partner

As a part of my project, there will be a focus on working with Montreal residents and incorporating citizen science, opening up many more possible non-academic collaborators. I am planning on sharing my results with the City of Montreal and collaborating with NGOs and community groups.

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