Allometry of urban trees in subtropical Hong Kong and effects of habitat types

L. C. HUI, Chi Yung JIM, Hao ZHANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Context   Quantitative information regarding tree species-specific size is an essential tool for landscape planning. It reflects tree-environment and human–environment interactions in the urban landscape. The effects of habitat types on tree allometry have seldom been evaluated.
Objectives   Firstly, to derive size-related information of common urban tree species in Hong Kong. Secondly, to evaluate the effects of habitat types on tree allometry.
Methods   A database of 28,622 trees was established by a field assessment. The allometric relationships (DBH-height and DBH-crown width relationships), by both OLS regression and quantile regression, and maximum size of 30 common urban tree species, and the effects of five main habitat types on tree allometry were determined. Species were assigned to groups according to dimensional traits by cluster analysis.
Results   In general, the allometric relationships of height and crown width to DBH were significant and varied among species. The wide prediction intervals of the OLS regression indicated the high uncertainty of allometric relationships in our region. The 99th percentile crown width of most species reached 10 m, hinting the general failure of most habitats to meet the planting space requirement. Only two large-stature species have narrow crowns. Habitat types posed significant but small species-specific effects on tree allometry. Roadside tree pit was a particularly stressful environment.
Conclusions   Our findings can act as a reference for landscape planning and management in Hong Kong and nearby cities, including species growth space requirement and habitat limitations. However, prediction of height or crown width from DBH must be carefully interpreted in our city. Copyright © 2020 Springer Nature B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1143-1160
JournalLandscape Ecology
Issue number5
Early online date16 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


Hui, L. C., Jim, C. Y., & Zhang, H. (2020). Allometry of urban trees in subtropical Hong Kong and effects of habitat types. Landscape Ecology, 35(5), 1143-1160. doi: 10.1007/s10980-020-01006-8


  • Landscape planning
  • Tree allometry
  • Urban habitat
  • Urban tree management
  • Planting site limitation
  • Species selection


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