Cemeteries as important urban green spaces: ecosystem services provided by trees in “Cimitero Parco” (Turin, Italy)
Cemeteries represent an indispensable component of the urban landscape in human settlements around the world. Often old urban cemeteries have important ecological characteristics and serve as a refuge for endangered and rare plant taxa. Few studies analyse the ecosystem services provided by urban green cemeteries. The research provides a preliminary assessment of ecosystem services and disservices (air pollution removal potential and allergenic potential) provided by trees of the Cimitero Parco in Turin (Italy). This site is one of the largest cemetery in Turin (69 ha), hosting 579 trees belonging to 25 different genera. The most common tree species are Acer saccharinum L., Cedrus atlantica (Endl.) Manetti ex Carrière and Tilia cordata Mill. Based on literature analysis, each tree has been assigned a value of air pollution removal potential and an allergenic potential in order to assess the supply of these ecosystem services and disservices. The preliminary results identify how the weighted average of the values of each tree returns a moderate value of air pollution removal potential and a moderate value of allergenic potential. Future research should compare the ecosystem services provided by the cemeteries of Turin with those provided by the urban parks, setting up common management plans for the green areas of the city, in order to achieve common objectives. In addition, cemeteries could become green areas where new species can be tested to adapt well to the climate conditions of the City of Torino and to climate changes.
Larcher, F., Battisti, L., Gullino, P., Pagotto, U. and Devecchi, M. (2021). Cemeteries as important urban green spaces: ecosystem services provided by trees in “Cimitero Parco” (Turin, Italy). Acta Hortic. 1331, 159-164
urban green design, cultural heritage, botanical collection, woody ornamental, allergenic potential