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.