San Juan Bay Estuary watershed urban forest inventory
We present information on the urban forests and land uses within the watershed of Puerto Rico’s 21 658-ha San Juan Bay Estuary based on urban forest inventories undertaken in 2001 and 2011. We found 2548 ha of mangrove and subtropical moist secondary forests covering 11.8 percent of the total watershed area in 2011. Red, black, and white mangroves (Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, and Laguncularia racemosa) were the most common species due to the watershed’s extensive mangrove forests, while tulipan africano (Spathodea campanulata) and María (Calophyllum antillanum) were predominant species in the moist forest patches and developed land uses. Approximately 10.1 million trees created an average tree cover of 24.1 percent, stored 319 737 metric tons of carbon (C) and sequestered C at a rate of 28 384 metric tons/year. This stored C had an estimated value of $8.1 million with an annual C sequestration value of $718,113 in 2011, up from the 2001 values. In 2011 approximately 19 000 megawatts of energy required for cooling buildings were avoided due to tree shading and climate effects in residential and commercial areas and equated to 1986 metric tons of avoided C emissions due to building energy effects.