Heritage Trees in Macau: Relationships Among Biomass Structure, Age, and Ecosystem Services
Po Ying Lai, C.Y. Jim, and Hao Zhang
Abstract: Older trees in good health are expected to provide more ecosystem services and equivalent economic values due to their large size. The relationship of tree dimensions, respective tree height, crown area, diameter at breast height (dbh), and total leaf area vis-a-vis age were studied for 790 heritage trees = 100 years old in Macau; 50 genera and 63 species were represented. Seven out of ten common genera showed no significant increase for all tested parameters except increase of dbh with age. Other factors, such as condition and geometry of growing spaces, controlled the performance of heritage trees, as well as the realization of their biological potential size, with implications on the provision of ecosystem services. The effects of these heritage trees on air-quality improvement and gross carbon sequestration were quantified by the i-Tree Eco model. Overall, 806.8 kg of air pollutants were removed annually, with benefits valued at US $8,091. The heritage trees stored 3,041 t carbon in total and sequestered 842 kg carbon/yr, equivalent to US $601 in annual benefits. The values were much higher than ordinary urban forest trees. Ten common heritage tree genera were ranked by their capacities for air quality improvement, carbon storage, and sequestration. The findings can serve as a decision tool for heritage tree management and conservation and to estimate potential ecosystem services of established trees.
Keywords: Heritage Trees in Macau: Relationships Among Biomass Structure, Age, and Ecosystem Services