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Effects of different sidewalk designs on soil characteristics and on the growth and physiology of shade tree species

2013 | Dr. Alessio Fini, University of Florence
The project is aimed at comparing four different profile designs for parkings lots, sidewalk, and other paved areas. Treatments compared are: A) impervious pavement (asphalt on concrete sub-base); B) pervious (curb on crushed stone sub-base); C) permeable (resin bound pavement on crushed stone sub-base); D) unpaved. In 2011, an experimental plot with these treatments (and 6 replicate) was built in Vertemate con Minoprio (CO, Italy). Two urban tree species (Fraxinus ornus and Celtis australis) were planted in a 1 x 1 m planting pit, in the differently paved subplots in spring 2012.
The project is then aimed at evaluating the effects of different profile designs and soil cover on:
• Soil temperature, which will be measured at 25-30 cm below grade, where most of roots are located
• Soil moisture (v/v), which will be measured at 25 cm (5 cm below the sub-base) and at 45 cm below grade, in order to describe how moisture varies at different depths within the rootzone
• Soil O2 content and CO2 efflux from soil
• Leaf gas exchange (photosynthesis, transpiration, water use efficiency), water relations (pre-dawn water potential) and growth of trees planted in pits surrounded by the different materials
• Air temperature and humidity in the different plots

Categories 2013, Grant Archive, Jack Kimmel International Grant | Tags: | Posted on March 27, 2014

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While I neither do research nor receive funding from the TREE Fund, my work could not exist without it. TREE Fund-supported research into structural soils, tree staking, transplanting, pruning, and tree preservation all have influenced my work in developing better techniques for urban tree planting designs, and have given me the confidence to write, lecture about, utilize and recommend new approaches.

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