Kayleigh Hutt-Taylor

Student Speaker | Étudiant.e
The urban forest is made up of the trees and associated green spaces in parks, streets, private land and natural areas within the city. As part of the urban landscape, trees are a key contributor to biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. For example, trees within our green spaces reduce hot summer temperatures, improve local air quality, promote mental wellbeing and provide recreational spaces for physical activity. A diverse urban forest also provides resilience to environmental change (such as climate change, or insect outbreaks). Our current understanding of Montreal's urban forest has been largely limited to trees located on public land (e.g. street tree, parks), which exist in a city-wide inventory. However, an estimated half of all city trees are growing on private land – and the characteristics of these trees are not well understood. Understanding how tree composition differs between public and private green spaces is crucial to understanding the full scope of urban forest diversity and the numerous benefits it provides our communities. My research aims to build on our current knowledge of the urban forest through a mixed method approach using local resident participation through community science, and traditional field ecology methods to build a tree inventory at an urban forest plot in Notre-Dame de Grace. With this tree new inventory, we will examine differences in tree composition and trait characteristics linked to ecosystem services to advance our understanding of tree diversity in both public and private green spaces.