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The Value of Preserving Native Forest Remnants in Urban Areas: Fairfield County, CT Public Deposited

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  • The purpose of this study was to evaluate a native remnant forest in Westport, Connecticut. The study site is a fragmented woodland located near a highly urbanized area of roadways and development. Preliminary descriptive information was collected for a partial sampling of tree stands in an attempt to obtain baseline data about the urban forest location and its value with respect to providing ecological services. iTree Canopy was used to quantify tree canopy, carbon sequestration, air pollution, and hydrological benefits at the study site. A reference site, the National Park Service (NPS) site at Weir Farm in Wilton, CT, a regenerated forest site, was also assessed for the same biophysical parameters and values using the iTree Canopy tool. Both sites are located within Fairfield County, Connecticut. The native remnant study site had a tree canopy coverage estimated at 70% across 77 acres while the regenerated NPS farm site had an estimated canopy of 60% across 89 acres. iTree Canopy values for the ecological services data showed that estimated benefits and value for carbon sequestration and storage, air pollution containment, and hydrological metrics at the NPS regenerated farm site were larger compared with the native remnant forest study site.
  • Keywords: Native Remnant Forest, Connecticut, Ecological Services, Biophysical Habitat, Urban Forestry, Urban Ecology
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