Madalena Vaz Monteiro
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As part of the Urban Forest Research Group (UFoRG), Madalena is conducting research related to the growth of urban trees and the ecosystem services provided by urban greenspaces and forests.
Main research areas
Madalena received a licentiate’s degree in landscape architecture at the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (Portugal) in 2006. After working for Lisbon city council as a landscape architect, Madalena moved to the UK in 2008 to undertake an MSc in horticulture, followed by a PhD in the same area at the University of Reading. In 2015, she was awarded her PhD, which investigated the impact of leaf and plant structure and function on temperature regulation and surface energy balance. Madalena joined Forest Research in November 2014 as an Urban Forest Scientist.
Research into the sustainability of 12 urban forests across Great Britain, and recommendation of a framework to rate sustainability of urban trees.
This Research Note describes the negative impact that elevated urban temperatures can have on human thermal comfort and health and how urban green infrastructure can help lessen this impact.
Trees in cities provide important benefits (or ecosystem services), such as decreased local air temperatures, reduced air pollution and the attenuation of storm water. The range and volume of the benefits provided depends on the size of the trees and their canopy. While city locations can be good places for trees to grow, for example […]
Tree allometry describes the relationships between tree biometric variables, such as tree diameter, height and crown width. Understanding of these relationships helps urban foresters to assess many of the economic and ecological benefits (e.g. carbon storage, rainwater interception and regulation of temperatures) provided by trees, such as through the use of the urban forest management […]
Following the latest article on the impact of greenspace size on the extent of local nocturnal air temperature cooling in London, and the Research Note summarising the role of urban trees and greenspaces in reducing urban air temperatures, the group is now investigating how air temperatures can be modified by the presence of individual street trees and how these changes will impact on the thermal comfort of local residents.
Using data collected by several i-Tree Eco assessments, defining the relationships between key biometric variables of urban trees (DBH, crown width and height) and investigating how those relationships change with different locations and tree species. Future work will compare the growth of urban trees to those growing in rural environments.
Understanding the growth and performance of newly planted London street trees
Ongoing research is following the growth of underused but promising species currently being planted in several London boroughs including Camden, Hackney and Elephant and Castle. Selected species include a range of broadleaf and conifer trees, small and large stature trees and trees originating from different climatic zones that, so far, have not been planted much in London but are now being considered due to a changing climate. Collected data is aimed at supporting tree officers in their future planting choices and ultimately achieve a more diverse and resilient urban forest.
Vaz Monteiro, M., Handley, P. and Doick, K. J. (2020). An insight to the current state and sustainability of urban forests across Great Britain based on i-Tree Eco surveys. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research, 93, 107-123
Vaz Monteiro, M., Handley, P., Morison, J. I. L., and Doick, K. J. (2019). The role of urban trees and greenspaces in reducing urban air temperatures. Research Note FCRN037, Forestry Commission, 12pp.
Vaz Monteiro, M., Doick, K. J., Lawrence, V., Wilson, J. (2018). Estimation of leaf area for open-grown urban trees in Great Britain using HemiView. Arboricultural Journal 40, 3-15.
Blanusa, T. and Vaz Monteiro, M. (2018). Green streets: Classifications, plant species, substrates, irrigation, and maintenance. In Nature Based Strategies for Urban and Building Sustainability (eds G. Pérez and K. Perini), Elsevier, Oxford, UK.
Vaz Monteiro, M., Doick, K.J., Lawrence, V., Albertini, A. and Handley, P. (2017). Investigation into the drought tolerance of broadleaf street trees using chlorophyll fluorescence. Acta Hortic. 1189 – Proceedings of the VI International Conference on Landscape and Urban Horticulture, 427-430.
Doick, K.J., Davies, H.J., Moss, J., Coventry, R., Handley, P., Vaz Monteiro, M., Rogers, K. and Simpkin, P. (2017). The Canopy Cover of England’s Towns and Cities: baselining and setting targets to improve human health and well-being. Conference Proceedings of TPBEIII. Urban Trees Research Conference. 5-6th April 2017. Institute of Chartered Foresters, Edinburgh.
Vaz Monteiro, M., Blanuša, T., Verhoef, A., Richardson, M., Hadley, P., Cameron, R.W.F., (2017). Functional green roofs: Importance of plant choice in maximising summertime environmental cooling and substrate insulation potential. Energy and Buildings. 141, 56–68.
Vaz Monteiro, M., Levanič, T., Doick, K.J., (2017). Growth rates of common urban trees in five cities in Great Britain: a dendrochronological evaluation with an emphasis on the impact of climate. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening. 22, 11–23.
Blanusa, T., Vaz Monteiro, M., Kemp, S. and Cameron, R. (2016) Planting Choices for Retrofitted Green Roofs, in Green Roof Retrofit: Building Urban Resilience (eds S. Wilkinson and T. Dixon), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK.
Vaz Monteiro, M., Doick, K.J., Handley, P. (2016). Allometric relationships for urban trees in Great Britain. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening. 19, 223–236.
Vaz Monteiro, M., Doick, K.J., Handley, P., Peace, A. (2016). The impact of greenspace size on the extent of local nocturnal air temperature cooling in London. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening. 16, 160–169.
Vaz Monteiro, M., Blanuša, T., Verhoef, A., Hadley, P., Cameron, R.W.F. (2016). Relative importance of transpiration rate and leaf morphological traits for the regulation of leaf temperature. Australian Journal of Botany. 64, 32–44.
Vaz Monteiro, M., Hadley, P., Blanusa, T., Cameron, R.W.F. (2016). Implication of plant selection for building insulation. Acta Horticulturae. 1108, 339–344.
Blanusa, T., Vaz Monteiro, M.M., Fantozzi, F., Vysini, E., Li, Y., Cameron, R.W.F. (2013). Alternatives to Sedum on green roofs: Can broad leaf perennial plants offer better “cooling service”? Building and Environment. 59, 99–106.