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2020. Cities Tell Trees to Leaf them Alone

December 18, 2020
  • Word Cloud that depicts the focus of this ecology research article

Cities found to reduce tree diversity, coming in just behind the logging industry and the entire country of Brazil.

By Eric Beilin

Purchase students Amanda Salmoiraghi, Paola Cruz, Julie Gifford, Joshua Mickens studied trees along the urban-rural gradient. These students braved being yelled at for trespassing for hours on end to find yet another way in which massive concentrations of concrete and pollutants are harmful to the natural world. By studying 15 by 15 meter plots of land in urban, suburban, and rural conditions these scientists found urban areas tend to have less tree species than rural and suburban landscapes. Interestingly, they found that urban trees had the highest average circumference, which indicates older trees. Similar to my parents, trees prefer moving to the suburbs before raising kids. Maybe we’re not so different after all!

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