trees, cities, climate
The project overview
City trees fulfil manifold important functions such as improving the microclimate and air, absorbing noise or structuring places. In cities, drought and heat are generally more intense and other stress factors (e.g. air pollution) burden trees. Therefore, trees in cities are "living laboratories" enabling an analysis of stress mechanisms and responses as well as estimations of expected future changes, e.g. with respect to expected climate change. CITREE provided a tool to monitor urban tree growth. Citizens had the ability to participate in tree monitoring as well as see and learn how their trees are growing.
The project will be continued by the institute even after the end of the funded period by Top Citizen Science.
How did citizen scientists participate?
In 2017 and 2018, numerous trees were equipped with the CITREE dendrometer systems to monitor the growth of trees in Innsbruck, Ghent, Dornbirn and further locations. Readings of dendrometers were done by project co-workers as well as citizen scientists, whereby cooperation with schools enabled a high frequency of readings. Unfortunately, numerous problems due to vandalism occurred, though data quality, as demonstrated by a comparison with automated high resolution dendrometers, was high. The CITREE system thus would be ready for use in other European cities. For now, further experience with already installed city trees will be gained.
What happened to the contributions of citizen scientists?
The CITREE database collected and will continue to collect growth data of all equipped city trees and provide the data set for involved citizens, the broad public, public authorities and scientists. Furthermore, the project and results were presented at conferences and published in scientific articles.