Urban Woodlands

Full Title

Social-ecological drivers of change over time in urban woodlands


Remnant and regenerating forest patches are hotspots of biodiversity and ecosystem services in urban regions. Social uses and benefits, abrupt forest edges, introduced and invasive species, and urban climate warming combine to create novel ecological conditions and management challenges in urban woodlands. An array of public, private, and non-profit organizations engage in management and stewardship of these urban woodland patches. Their efforts vary in emphasis according to organizational mandates and available resources, and fine-scale heterogeneity of land ownership in cities often limits the scope of interventions. This Pursuit will bring together experts in urban ecology, social science, forest ecology, and remote sensing with managers of urban woodlands. Together, we will develop research methodologies to integrate 1) high-resolution, long-term biophysical data from urban, suburban, and rural forest patches along multiple urban-to-rural gradients with 2) patterns of ownership, civic stewardship, and public land management, and with 3) remotely-sensed indicators of ecosystem functions. The team will produce a synthesis of these data, develop a conceptual model of the roles of public land management and civic stewardship in urban woodlands as social-ecological systems. We also will communicate findings of the synthesis, to support coordination across jurisdictional boundaries and facilitate the flow of information relevant to decision-making. 

Project Type
Team Synthesis Project
Principal Investigators
Lea Johnson, University of Maryland
Michelle Johnson, US Forest Service
Myla Aronson, Rutgers University
Lindsay Campbell, USDA Forest Service
Vincent D'Amico, USDA
Robert Fahey, University of Connecticut
John Paul Schmit, National Park Service
Phillip Townsend, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Tedward Erker, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Ted Martello, Tree Baltimore
Megan Carr, University of Maryland
Lydia Scott, Morton Arboretum
Lindsay Darling, Morton Arboretum
Stephanie Pincetl, University of California, Los Angeles
Luke Rhodes, Fairmount Park Conservancy
Mysha Clarke, Villanova University

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