AJPS  Vol.10 No.11 , November 2019
Tree Role in Environmental Quality Amelioration of the Sapienza University of Rome Campus
Abstract: The capability of trees growing in the Campus of Sapienza University of Rome to improve environmental quality was analyzed. Measurements of CO2 concentration, air temperature and humidity, traffic density and noise level were carried out along a transect from streets outside the Campus to sites inside. Moreover, measurements were also carried out at the Experimental Garden placed inside the Campus. In each of the considered sites, diameter at breast height, plant height and carbon stored in the tree aboveground biomass were calculated. Air temperature in summer was 5% lower inside the Campus than in the surrounding streets, while relative humidity increased by 4%. CO2 concentration in winter was 11% lower inside than in the surrounding streets. Carbon stored by trees was 374 Mg to which Pinus pinea, Cedrus deodara, Quercus ilex and Tilia × europaea contributed by 30%, 20%, 18% and 13%, respectively. Moreover, noise level was 36% lower inside than in the surrounding streets.
Cite this paper: Gratani, L. , Tarquini, F. and Catoni, R. (2019) Tree Role in Environmental Quality Amelioration of the Sapienza University of Rome Campus. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 10, 2096-2112. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2019.1011148.

[1]   Dobbs, C., Escobedo, F.J. and Zipperer, W.C. (2011) A Framework for Developing Urban Forest Ecosystem Services and Goods Indicators. Landscape and Urban Planning, 99, 196-206.

[2]   Rey Gozalo, G., Barrigón Morillas, J.M., Montes González, D. and Moraga, P.A. (2018) Relationships among Satisfaction, Noise Perception, and Use of Urban Green Spaces. Science of The Total Environment, 624, 438-450.

[3]   UN (United Nations) (2014) World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, New York.

[4]   EC (European Commission) (2000) Towards a Local Sustainability Profile: European Common Indicators. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg.

[5]   Nowak, D.J., Hoehn, R.E., Crane, D.E., Stevens, J.C., Walton, J.T. and Bond, J. (2008) A Ground-Based Method of Assessing Urban Forest Structure and Ecosystem Services. Agence universitaire de la Francophonie, 34, 347-358.

[6]   Gratani, L., Varone, L. and Bonito, A. (2016) Carbon Sequestration of Four Urban Parks in Rome. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 19, 184-193.

[7]   Gratani, L., Catoni, R., Puglielli, G., Varone, L., Crescente, M.F., Sangiorgio, S. and Lucchetta, F. (2016) Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Sequestration and Air Temperature Amelioration Provided by Urban Parks in Rome. Energy Procedia, 101, 408-415.

[8]   Maas, J., van Dillen, S.M.E., Verheij, R.A. and Groenewegen, P.P. (2009) Social Contacts as a Possible Mechanism behind the Relation between Green Space and Health. Health & Place, 15, 586-595.

[9]   Peters, K., Elands, B. and Buijs, A. (2010) Social Interactions in Urban Parks: Stimulating Social Cohesion? Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 9, 93-100.

[10]   Dadvand, P., Nieuwenhuijsen, M.J., Esnaola, M., Forns, J., Basagana, X., Alvarez-Pedrerol, M., Rivas, I., López-Vicente, M., Pascual, M.D.C. and Su, J. (2015) Green Spaces and Cognitive Development in Primary Schoolchildren. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112, 7937-7942.

[11]   Grahn, P. and Stigsdotter, U.A. (2003) Landscape Planning and Stress. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 2, 1-18.

[12]   Jay, M. and Schraml, U. (2009) Understanding the Role of Urban Forests for Migrants-Uses, Perception and Integrative Potential. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 8, 283-294.

[13]   Millward, A.A. and Sabir, B. (2011) Benefits of a Forested Urban Park: What Is the Value of Allan Gardens to the City of Toronto, Canada? Landscape and Urban Planning, 100, 177-188.

[14]   Nowak, D.J. and Crane, D.E. (2002) Carbon Storage and Sequestration by Urban Trees in the USA. Environmental Pollution, 116, 381-389.

[15]   Gratani, L. and Varone, L. (2006) Carbon Sequestration by Quercus ilex L. and Quercus pubescens Willd. and Their Contribution to Decreasing Air Temperature in Rome. Urban Ecosystems, 9, 27-37.

[16]   Gratani, L. and Varone, L. (2007) Plant Crown Traits and Carbon Sequestration Capability by Platanus hybrida Bront in Rome. Landscape and Urban Planning, 81, 282-286.

[17]   Woodall, C.W., Nowak, D.J., Liknes, G.C. and Westfall, J.A. (2010) Assessing the Potential for Urban Trees to Facilitate Forest Tree Migration in the Eastern United States. Forest Ecology and Management, 259, 1447-1454.

[18]   Gratani, L., Crescente, M.F. and Varone, L. (2008) Long-Term Monitoring of Metal Pollution by Urban Trees. Atmospheric Environment, 42, 8273-8277.

[19]   Yin, S., Shen, Z., Zhou, P., Zou, X., Che, S. and Wang, W. (2011) Quantifying Air Pollution Attenuation within Urban Parks: An Experimental Approach in Shanghai, China. Environmental Pollution, 159, 2155-2163.

[20]   Cohen, P., Potchter, O. and Schnell, I. (2014) The Impact of an Urban Park on Air Pollution and Noise Levels in the Mediterranean City of Tel-Aviv, Israel. Environmental Pollution, 195, 73-83.

[21]   Chiesura, A. (2004) The Role of Urban Parks for the Sustainable City. Landscape and Urban Planning, 68, 129-138.

[22]   Nagendra, H. and Gopal, D. (2011) Tree Diversity, Distribution, History and Change in Urban Parks: Studies in Bangalore, India. Urban Ecosystems, 14, 211-223.

[23]   Gratani, L. and Varone, L. (2013) Carbon Sequestration and Noise Attenuation Provided by Hedges in Rome: The Contribution of Hedge Traits in Decreasing Pollution Levels. Atmospheric Pollution Research, 4, 315-322.

[24]   McHale, M., Burke, I., Lefsky, M., Peper, P. and McPherson, G. (2009) Urban Forest Biomass Estimates: It Is Important to Use Allometric Relationships Developed Specifically for Urban Trees? Urban Ecosystems, 12, 95-113.

[25]   Dwyer, J.F., Nowak, D.J. and Noble, M.H. (2003) Sustaining Urban Forests. Journal of Arboriculture, 29, 49-55.

[26]   McHale, M., McPherson, E.G. and Burke, I. (2007) The Potential of Urban Tree Plantings to Be Cost Effective in Carbon Credit Markets. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 6, 49-60.

[27]   McPherson, E.G. and Peper, P. (2012) Urban Tree Growth Modeling. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry, 38, 172-180.

[28]   Frank, S., Glenn, W., Beer, R. and Peter, M. (2006) An Analysis of the Street Tree Population of Greater Melbourne at the Beginning of the 21st Century. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry, 32, 155-163.

[29]   Moore, G. (2009) People, Trees, Landscapes and Climate Change. Climate Change: On for Young and Old. 131-149.

[30]   Lau, S.S.Y. and Yang, F. (2009) Introducing Healing Gardens into a Compact University Campus: Design Natural Space to Create Healthy and Sustainable Campuses. Landscape Research, 34, 55-81.

[31]   Idso, C.D., Idso, S.B. and Balling Jr., R.C. (2001) An Intensive Two-Week Study of an Urban CO2 Dome in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Atmospheric Environment, 35, 995-1000.

[32]   Tabacchi, G., Di Cosmo, L., Gasparini, P. and Morelli, S. (2011) Stima del volume e della fitomassa delle principali specie forestali italiane. Equazioni di previsione, tavole del volume e tavole della fitomassa arborea epigea. Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura, Unità di Ricerca per il monitoraggio e la pianificazione Forestale, Trento.

[33]   Gratani, L., Pesoli, P., Crescente, M.F. and Tinelli, A. (2001) Analisi della struttura di Pinus pinea L. in funzione dell’età: Variazione dell’indice di area fogliare (LAI) e della morfologia degli aghi. Accademia nazionale delle Scienze detta dei Quaranta Roma.

[34]   Gratani, L., Bombelli, A. and Covone, F. (2003) Variation in Shrub Structure and Species Co-Occurrence in the Mediterranean Maquis. Journal of Mediterranean Ecology, 4, 31-37.

[35]   Marin-Spiotta, E., Ostertag, R. and Silver, W.L. (2007) Long-Term Patterns in Tropical Reforestation: Plant Community Composition and Aboveground Biomass Accumulation. Ecological Applications, 17, 828-839.

[36]   Liu, L., Guan, D., Peart, M.R., Wang, G., Zhang, H. and Li, Z. (2013) The Dust Retention Capacities of Urban Vegetation—A Case Study of Guangzhou, South China. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 20, 6601-6610.

[37]   Pietropaoli, S. (2014) Mesocosmi sperimentali per lo studio dei processi fisiologici di specie arboree forestali nell’ambito della fitodepurazione: Recupero di acque contaminate per la produzione di biomassa legnosa.

[38]   IPCC (2003) Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry. IPCC Technical Support Unit, Kanagawa, Japan.

[39]   Stagoll, K., Lindenmayer, D.B., Knight, E., Fischer, J. and Manning, A.D. (2012) Large Trees Are Keystone Structures in Urban Parks. Conservation Letters, 5, 115-122.

[40]   Nowak, D.J., Hirabayashi, S., Doyle, M., McGovern, M. and Pasher, J. (2018) Air Pollution Removal by Urban Forests in Canada and Its Effect on Air Quality and Human Health. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 29, 40-48.

[41]   Loughner, C.P., Allen, D.J., Zhang, D.-L., Pickering, K.E., Dickerson, R.R. and Landry, L. (2012) Roles of Urban Tree Canopy and Buildings in Urban Heat Island Effects: Parameterization and Preliminary Results. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 51, 1775-1793.

[42]   Hennessy, J.T., Gibbens, R.P., Tromble, J.M. and Cardenas, M. (1985) Mesquite (Prosopis grandulosa Torr.) Dunes and Interdunes in Southern New Mexico: A Study of Soil Properties and Soil Water Relations. Journal of Arid Environments, 9, 27-38.

[43]   Scholes, R.J. and Archer, S.R. (1997) Tree-Grass Interactions in Savannas. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 28, 517-544.

[44]   Snyder, K.A., Mitchell, K.A. and Herrick, J.E. (2006) Patterns and Controls of Soil Water in the Jornada Basin. In: Havstad, K.M., Huenneke, L.F. and Schlesinger, W.H., Eds., Structure and Function of a Chihuahuan Desert Ecosystem: The Jornada Basin Long-Term Ecological Research Site, Oxford University Press, New York, 107-132.

[45]   Escobedo, F., Varela, S., Zhao, M., Wagner, J. and Zipperer, W. (2010) Analyzing the Efficacy of Subtropical Urban Forests in Offsetting Carbon Emissions from Cities. Environmental Science & Policy, 13, 362-372.

[46]   Koerner, B. and Klopatek, J. (2002) Anthropogenic and Natural CO2 Emission Sources in an Arid Urban Environment. Environmental Pollution, 116, 45-51.

[47]   Rowntree, R.A. and Nowak, D.J. (1991) Quantifying the Role of Urban Forests in Removing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. Journal of Arboriculture, 17, 269-275.

[48]   Gratani, L., Crescente, M.F., Varone, L., Bonito, A. and Tinelli, A. (2015) Pinus pinea L. Plant Trait Variations in Response to Tree Age and Silvicultural Management and Carbon Storage Capability. Rendiconti Lincei, 26, 507-515.

[49]   Sun, K., De Coensel, B., Echevarria Sanchez, G.M., Van Renterghem, T. and Botteldooren, D. (2018) Effect of Interaction between Attention Focusing Capability and Visual Factors on Road Traffic Noise Annoyance. Applied Acoustics, 134, 16-24.

[50]   Yang, J. and Gan, W.S. (2001) On the Actively Controlled Noise Barrier. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 240, 592-597.

[51]   Maleki, K., Hosseini, S.M. and Nasiri, P. (2010) The Effect of Pure and Mixed Plantations of Robinia pseudoacacia and Pinus eldarica on Traffic Noise Decrease. International Journal of Environmental Science, 1, 213-224.

[52]   Pathak, V., Tripathi, B.D. and Mishra, V.K. (2011) Evaluation of Anticipated Performance Index of Some Tree Species for Green Belt Development to Mitigate Traffic Generated Noise. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 10, 61-66.

[53]   Gidlof-Gunnarsson, A. and Ohrstrom, E. (2007) Noise and Well-Being in Urban Residential Environments: The Potential Role of Perceived Availability to Nearby Green Areas. Landscape and Urban Planning, 83, 115-126.