Modeling the Effects of Urban Vegetation on Air Pollution

  • David J. Nowak
  • Patrick J. McHale
  • Myriam Ibarra
  • Daniel Crane
  • Jack C. Stevens
  • Chris J. Luley
Part of the NATO • Challenges of Modern Society book series (NATS, volume 22)


Urban vegetation can directly and indirectly affect local and regional air quality by altering the urban atmospheric environment. Trees affect local air temperature by transpiring water through their leaves, by blocking solar radiation (tree shade), which reduces radiation absorption and heat storage by various anthropogenic surfaces (e. g., buildings, roads), and by altering wind characteristics that affect air dispersion. During the summertime, trees predominantly reduce local air temperatures, but may increase within- and below-canopy air temperature due to reduced turbulent exchange with above-canopy air (Heisler et al., 1995). Reduced air temperature due to trees can improve air quality because the emission of many pollutants and/or precursor chemicals are temperature dependent. Decreased air temperature can also reduce ozone (O3) formation (Cardelino and Chameides, 1990).


Deposition Velocity Urban Tree Volatile Organic Compound Emission Urban Vegetation National Climatic Data Center 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Nowak
    • 1
  • Patrick J. McHale
    • 2
  • Myriam Ibarra
    • 1
  • Daniel Crane
    • 1
  • Jack C. Stevens
    • 1
  • Chris J. Luley
    • 3
  1. 1.Northeastern Forest Experiment StationUSDA Forest ServiceSyracuseUSA
  2. 2.College of Environmental Science and ForestryState University of New YorkSyracuseUSA
  3. 3.ACRT Inc.Cuyahoga FallsUSA

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