Which plant where: a plant selection tool for changing Urban climates

Samiya Tabassum*, Linda J. Beaumont, Farzin Shabani, Leigh Staas, Gwilym Griffiths, Alessandro Ossola, Michelle R. Leishman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Use of vegetation in urban areas for climate change adaptation is becoming increasingly important; however, urban vegetation is itself vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Better understanding of which species will survive and thrive in urban areas with projected climate change will increase confidence in choosing climate-ready species for resilient urban greening outcomes. Plant selector tools based on the suitability of species for future climates, however, are lacking. Methods: The Which Plant Where plant selector webtool (www.whichplantwhere.com.au) was created by combining sophisticated species distribution models and trait and environmental tolerance data from a variety of sources to allow users to select appropriate species which are climatically suitable for Australian urban environments for 3 different time periods (2030, 2050, and 2070). The tool allows users to calculate co-benefits afforded by planting palettes and offers suggestions for alternative species based on climate suitability to help diversify plantings and provide options where substitutions may have to be made. Results: The tool contains information for over 2,500 unique plant entries (encompassing species, subspecies, cultivars, varieties, and hybrids) from 9 different growth forms (trees, shrubs, palms, ferns, cycads, climbers, succulents, grass, and herbs). The tool contains many resources to design and maintain resilient urban green spaces, from the planning stage up to monitoring and maintenance. Conclusion: Which Plant Where was designed to allow practitioners and urban forest managers to confidently identify climate-ready species now to ensure urban green spaces remain diverse and resilient into the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-209
Number of pages20
JournalArboriculture and Urban Forestry
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Keywords

  • Climate Suitability
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Species Selection
  • Urban Greening
  • Urban Management

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