Ecosystem Services

Your Trees Count!

The Green Cities Research Alliance is happy to announce the publication of "Seattle's Forest Ecosystem Values: Analysis of the Structure, Function, and Economic Benefits".

This publication is the result of 3 years of work and research into the environmental benefits provided by Seattle's urban forest. By measuring trees in over 200 randomly selected plots, researchers were able to quantify how Seattle’s trees contribute to reducing pollution, storing carbon, and saving energy. This research also provides important management information on factors such as species and size distribution and susceptibility to pests. Data was analyzed using the state-of-the-art i-Tree program. This analysis is critical to understanding the current and future management needs of our urban forest in order to develop sound management policies.

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What are ecosystem services?

Ecosystem services are the environmental benefits provided by urban trees. These benefits include trapping and slowing rain water, energy conservation, carbon sequestration, heat island reduction, and improvements to air and water quality. Preserving ecosystem services in urban areas is critical to making cities healthy, desirable places to live and work.

What is i-Tree?

i-Tree is a U.S. Forest Service peer-reviewed software program developed by scientists over the past several years. i-Tree analyses have been completed in a number of major cities, including Minneapolis, MN, Washington D.C., Houston, TX, and Pittsburgh, PA. i-Tree is also being used in a number of other countries around the world, such as Spain, Brazil, South Africa, China, India, and Australia.