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This Research Report looks at a broad range of urban forest-based ecosystem services and disservices and, using a literature review, links their provision with four aspects of urban forests (physical scale, physical structure and context in terms of location and proximity to people and land use and ownership). A key objective of this report is to illustrate the specific role of trees in delivering benefit to society, as opposed to delivery being assigned to green infrastructure in general, or to a particular greenspace type. Four scale-based urban forest elements are considered: single tree, line of trees, tree cluster and woodland. The ecosystem services are grouped into provisioning, regulating and cultural, and in the main part of the report each service is considered in turn, with in most cases a table summarising the urban forest parameters that are reported in the literature to improve that service. A summary table is provided which brings together delivery indicators for urban forest ecosystem service provision. The report then considers ecosystem disservices in a similar way. Such information will be helpful for mapping and quantifying ecosystem service delivery over a given area and for determining how and where the urban forest can be bolstered in support of ecosystem service provision, including a reduction in ecosystem disservices. To this end, synergies and trade-offs in ecosystem service delivery are also considered. By revealing which component parts of the urban forest are frequently associated with the benefit, the report can help policymakers and urban forest practitioners in Britain make informed decisions on how to improve the long-term and sustainable delivery of ecosystem services for a more resilient society.


PDF, 3.56 MB

Publication type
Research Report
Publication owner
Forestry Commission