Ottawa's urban forest : a geospatial approach to data collection for the UFORE/i-Tree eco ecosystem services valuation model
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SubjectEcosystem Services; iTree; LIDAR; Ottawa; Ontario; Urban Forest Effects Model; Urban Forestry
The i-Tree Eco model, developed by the U.S. Forest Service, is commonly used to estimate the value of the urban forest and the ecosystem services trees provide. The model relies on field-based measurements to estimate ecosystem service values. However, the methods for collecting the field data required for the model can be extensive and costly for large areas, and data collection can thus be a barrier to implementing the model for many cities. This study investigated the use of geospatial technologies as a means to collect urban forest structure measurements within the City of Ottawa, Ontario. Results show that geospatial data collection methods can serve as a proxy for urban forest structure parameters required by i-Tree Eco. Valuations using the geospatial approach are shown to be less accurate than those developed from field-based data, but significantly less expensive. Planners must weigh the limitations of either approach when planning assessment projects.
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