Penn State Brandywine Tree Removal Eco-Services Impact Survey Public

Penn State Brandywine Tree Removal Eco-Services Impact Survey Breath A. Hand Psychology Major  Bkh5174@psu.edu Dr. Laura A. Guertin Professor of Earth Science  uxg3@psu.edu Dr. Joshua D. Marquit Instructor, Psychology  jdm53@psu.edu A biodiversity survey was conducted at Penn State Brandywine to catalog and map trees on a plot of land that will be cleared to accommodate a new 31,000-square-foot, student union building. Species, circumference, and location information for each tree was collected and uploaded into PhillyTreeMap, an online database built using software developed by the U.S. Forestry Service. This website calculates information on eco-services for individual trees, including carbon dioxide stored to date, carbon dioxide removed, energy conserved, air quality improvement, stormwater filtered per year, and the economic benefits associated with each eco-service. Data on the eco-services were aggregated to determine total species contributions and other variables of interest including growth rates and the age of each tree slated for removal. The biodiversity analysis found a total of 40 trees with eight species including black cherry Prunus serotina (n = 23), white ash Fraxinus americana (5), sassafras Sassafrass albidum (4), black walnut Juglans nigra (3), tulip poplar Liriodendron tulipifera (1), and four others. Results of this analysis indicate that the black cherry, white ash, and black walnut species, respectively, provided the greatest quantities of aggregate eco-service benefits. In all tree species surveyed, eco-services increased over time until they reached ~160 years of age at which point benefits began to level off or decrease. Cross-referencing age and eco-services showed that the sassafras and black walnut species provide more eco-services in proportion to their age versus other species. Black cherry trees had the highest number of trees (23) and highest levels of each eco-service. The Flowering dogwood had provided the least eco-services. Overall, the Tulip poplar was the top performer on a per-tree basis. Data from this eco-services impact survey may be used for the selection of new trees on campus to replace those that have been removed.

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