Searching for climate change solutions in Newfoundland’s urban forests

Pearson, Erin (2023) Searching for climate change solutions in Newfoundland’s urban forests. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Urban forests provide municipalities with a suite of benefits and services, and help mitigate the effects of climate change notably, serving to reduce the impact of local warming and urban heat island effects. The gradient of winter climates that exists on the island of Newfoundland (NL) provides a unique natural laboratory to investigate the influence of urban forest canopy cover on both winter and summer temperature changes, and assess the potential for the island to act as a model for future forest conditions throughout mainland Canada. Using this natural laboratory, we characterize the impact of NL urban forests on summer temperatures; however, microclimatic influences on winter appear to be dominated by other factors (e.g., wind exposure). Structural and ecological characteristics of urban forests changed throughout the urban ecosystem, influencing how closely different urban forest regions resemble natural forests, and amplifying the need for alternative indicators of ecological integrity that better reflect their sociocultural influences. This research provides important empirical findings on the relationship between urban forests and urban ecosystems in NL, highlighting the need for more intentional management and planning to ensure the longevity of urban forests and their benefits into the future.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15937
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references
Keywords: urban forest, ecological integrity, microclimate, climate change, urban ecosystems, green infrastructure, temperature mitigation
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: May 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Urban forestry--Newfoundland and Labrador; Ecological integrity--Newfoundland and Labrador; Forest microclimatology--Newfoundland and Labrador; Climatic changes--Newfoundland and Labrador; Urban ecological design--Newfoundland and Labrador

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