Long term assessment of the effects of impervious, permeable and porous pavements on the underlying soil and on established trees

2014 | Alessio Fini, DiSPAA РUniversità di Firenze, Italy

The aim of this project is to evaluate the effects of soil sealing on the urban ecosystem, including soil chemical, physical and biological characteristics, tree physiology and biochemistry, and water balance in the urban environment. In 2011, an experimental plot was built to compare different types of soil cover: 1) impervious design (asphalt on a 15 cm concrete sub-base); 2) permeable design (curbstone on crushed rock sub-base); 3) porous design (pavement made of coarse aggregate and epoxy resin on crushed rock sub-base); 4) bare soil, kept free of weeds by the use of herbicides. 48 trees from 2 different species (Fraxinus ornus L. and Celtis australis L.) were planted in spring 2012 into 1 m2 planting hole, each surrounded by the different paving treatments, and allowed to establish for two years. Measured parameters will include: 1) analysis of soil texture and physico-chemical parameters; 2) measurement of oil moisture and temperature, determined using soil moisture and temperature probes; 3) assessment of changes in plant physiology and biochemistry because of soil sealing, including pre-dawn water potential, ABA-signaling and leaf gas exchange.

For more information on this project, contact the researcher via TREE Fund at treefund@treefund.org.