Urban Trees and Their Relation to Air Pollution

  • Roeland SamsonEmail author
  • Rüdiger Grote
  • Carlo Calfapietra
  • Paloma Cariñanos
  • Silvano Fares
  • Elena Paoletti
  • Abhishek Tiwary
Part of the Future City book series (FUCI, volume 7)


One of the most studied services of urban forests and trees is their positive effect on air quality, which is expected to improve human health by removing gaseous air pollutants and particulate matter (PM) (Weber 2013). A prominent measure in urban development plans that is meant to achieve this goal is to increase the number of trees. But trees can be found in various forms and shapes, both at canopy and leaf level. Moreover, their uptake activity differs widely and depends on species-specific characteristics as well as their susceptibility to environmental stresses. How does the overall impact of trees on local air quality depend on species’ specific traits, and what potential tradeoffs connected to these traits might decrease other environmental services, like carbon uptake (see  Chap. 4)?

When air pollutants are emitted, they are transported within the atmosphere and then ‘return to earth’ primarily by two processes: wet and dry deposition. In the case of wet...


Volatile Organic Compound Secondary Organic Aerosol Urban Green Space Urban Tree Pollen Emission 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research has been encouraged and supported by the COST Action FP1204 “Green Infrastructure approach: linking environmental with social aspects in studying and managing urban forests”. The authors also wish to acknowledge the contributions of the following people: Rocio Alonso, Jorge Umberto Amorim, Galina Churkina, Didier Le Thiec, Ülo Niinemets and Teis Norgaard Mikkelsen.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roeland Samson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rüdiger Grote
    • 2
  • Carlo Calfapietra
    • 3
    • 4
  • Paloma Cariñanos
    • 5
  • Silvano Fares
    • 6
  • Elena Paoletti
    • 7
  • Abhishek Tiwary
    • 8
  1. 1.Faculty of Sciences, Department of Bioscience EngineeringUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  2. 2.Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK-IFU)Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Agro-Environmental and Forest Biology (IBAF)National Research Council (CNR), Monterotondo (Rome)Porano (TR)Italy
  4. 4.Global Change Research InstituteBrnoCzech Republic
  5. 5.Department of BotanyUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  6. 6.Council for Agricultural Research and EconomicsResearch Centre for the Soil-Plant SystemRomeItaly
  7. 7.Institute for Sustainable Plant ProtectionItalian National Research Council (CNR)FlorenceItaly
  8. 8.Faculty of Engineering and the EnvironmentNorthumbria UniversityNewcastleUK

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