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You are here: Home / Urban Forest Connections Webinars / Climate Change & Urban Environments: Adaptation through diversity

Climate Change & Urban Environments: Adaptation through diversity

Newly planted trees
Michael G. Collins, Village of Riverside, IL

Climate Change & Urban Environments: Adaptation through diversity
December 14, 2016

Leslie Brandt, USDA Forest Service
Justin Evertson, Nebraska Forest Service & Nebraska Statewide Arboretum

Planting trees and expanding canopy cover are important strategies for reducing climate change impacts in urban areas. However, urban trees and forests are also vulnerable to climate change through shifts in habitat suitability, pests and diseases, and extreme weather events. This webinar will highlight two compelling projects that seek to sustain the benefits of urban and community forests in the face of climate change. Leslie Brandt will present the Urban Forestry Climate Change Response Framework, which engages communities in a three-step process that includes regional vulnerability assessment and local on-the-ground action. Among other conclusions, the project has found local adaptation actions to be largely focused on increased biodiversity (including exploration of new species or cultivars) and restoration of natural disturbance regimes. Operating under the same conclusion that biodiversity leads to more resilient urban and community forests, the Nebraska Forest Service has partnered with the Kansas Forest Service on an initiative called Environmentally Adapted Trees. Justin Evertson will explain how this initiative works with nursery professionals, arborists, foresters, and outreach specialists to identify, prove the suitability of, and encourage the growing and planting of underutilized tree species in the region.


View the webinar podcast

View the webinar podcast »

A Framework for Adapting our Urban Forests to a Changing Climate (PDF)
Leslie Brandt
Climate Change Specialist
USDA Forest Service

Environmentally Adapted Trees (EAT) for Nebraska and Kansas (PDF)
Justin Evertson
Green Infrastructure Coordinator
Nebraska Forest Service & Nebraska Statewide Arboretum


Resources Mentioned in the Webinar

A Framework for Adapting Urban Forests to Climate Change
This Environmental Science & Policy publication outlines a three-step framework for urban forest vulnerability assessment and adaptation relevant to regional studies and on-the-ground application.

Lessons Learned from the Urban Forestry Climate Change Response Framework Project
This collaborative publication summarizes application of the framework in the Chicago region for the purpose of knowledge exchange and use in other urban areas.

Fortifying Chicago’s Urban Forest
From the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, this case study highlights efforts in Chicago to enhance urban trees’ resilience to climate change and their continued ability to produce benefits such as reducing urban heat, controlling stormwater, and providing wildlife habitat.

ReTree Nebraska
ReTree Nebraska is a cooperative initiative to raise public awareness of the value of trees and reverse the decline and improve the sustainability of community trees and forests. The website includes links to tree benefits, species recommendations, and financial and technical resources to help citizens make a difference.

Nebraska Statewide Arboretum
NSA provides links to selected publications, including a summary of the many ways trees are important to our communities (Why We Love Trees) and lists of recommended plants for the Great Plains.

US Forest Service Resources

Climate Change Atlas
The Climate Change Atlas documents the current and possible future distribution of 134 tree species in the Eastern United States and gives detailed information on environmental characteristics defining these distributions.

Urban Forests and Climate Change
The US Forest Service’s Climate Change Resource Center offers a synthesis of the role of urban forests in climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. Includes recommended readings, research, and tools.