USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

 
Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Research Topics Urban Forestry

diagram
Trees play an important role in the water cycle by intercepting rainfall. (Image courtesy of the Arbor Day Foundation)

Water

Urban forests reduce stormwater runoff, thereby slowing the flow of pollutants into streams, lakes and oceans. As a result, water runoff from storms can be more readily absorbed by soil. In most cases, models of hydrological processes in forests cannot be applied to cities.

Forest stands typically consist of fewer species than found in urban forests and trees in cities rarely occur in large groups of trees like those in large tracts of forested land. For this reason, scientists have developed rainfall interception models for single open-grown trees and for trees in urban watersheds.


Study evaluates the performance of two bioswales on urban runoff management
Study evaluates the performance of two bioswales on urban runoff management
Studies quantify urban trees' ability to intercept rainfall across 40 years
Studies quantify urban trees' ability to intercept rainfall across 40 years

Publications