OUR MISSION: ACER supports communities, government agencies and corporations in taking action to reduce biodiversity loss and strengthen climate resilience by increasing and monitoring urban and riparian zone forest canopy.

Humber Arboretum Experimental Plot

Biodiversity Plot at Humber Arboretum

ACER’s research at the biodiversity plot at the Humber Arboretum aims to determine the impact of climate change on the growth rate of different species of trees within an urban heat island. This one-hectare research plot is located within the urban heat island of Toronto, ON, Canada and is about 3.7 degrees warmer than rural Ontario.

For the past 10 years, students and volunteers have been measuring the success and growth rate of the trees using scientific methods and tools. Originally, the students and community-based volunteers planted 2,100 trees for the experiment in 2002 using scientific biodiversity-sensitive designs. This experiment has allowed them to broaden their understanding of scientific research by completing hands-on field work and practicing scientific techniques and calculations.

To view the data that has been already collected at the Humber Arboretum Experimental Plot, please click on this link: Humber Arboretum Experimental Plot: Quadrats 1-28.

The Humber Arboretum Experimental Plot consists of 28 quadrats, each of which are 20m by 20m. A quadrat is a square or rectangular plot used by ecologists to study a sample of a physical area (such as the vegetation or animals that occur within a marked plot). Each  quadrat at the biodiversity plot contains a specific group of tree species. The groups of tree species include: Carolinian, City Street, Forestry, Hardwood, and Mixed Wood. The Carolinian, Mixed Hardwood, and Hardwood quadrats have each been designed to contain a different level of biodiversity. The varying levels of biodiversity are: High Biodiversity, Moderate Biodiversity, and Low Biodiversity.

Please view the map below entitled Humber Arboretum Planted Plot Quadrats (28) for more details of the biodiversity plot layout.