Species diversity and spatial pattern of old and precious trees in Macau

Hao ZHANG, Po Ying LAI, Chi Yung JIM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The world's fast pace of urbanization has exerted profound pressure on urban trees. With over 400 years of urban history, Macau has developed an exceptionally high population density and ultra-compact mode, yet it permits survival of interesting and diverse heritage trees. These outstanding living remnants connote special values in history, ecology and botany. In conjunction with commemorative importance, they have been designated as Old and Precious Trees (OPT). This study evaluated the OPT with reference to: (a) species diversity and evenness; (b) spatial distribution; (c) tree dimensions, age and health; and (d) spatial differentiation of tree attributes by four districts and eight tree-habitats. Heritage trees in Macau were compared with those in Hong Kong and Guangzhou. The 793 OPT belong to 63 species. The exotic Ficus rumphii is overwhelmingly dominant, followed by F. microcarpa, Cinnamomum camphora and Dimocarpus longan. Species composition, age distribution and health conditions are associated with tree-habitat. Roadside has the largest number of OPT but the least species richness. Public parks and gardens has the highest diversity and largest tree dimensions. The oldest trees are clustered in urban parks and religious places. Tree health is poorer at roadsides, and private residential and commercial properties. The patterns suggest close relationship between tree traits and physical fabric of the city. However, the variety rather than duration of geographical contacts is a key determinant of urban tree diversity. The findings offer insights for heritage-tree conservation and management strategies in compact cities with similar urban structure and history. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-67
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Early online date23 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


Zhang, H., Lai, P. Y., & Jim, C. Y. (2017). Species diversity and spatial pattern of old and precious trees in Macau. Landscape and Urban Planning, 162, 56-67. doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2017.02.002


  • Heritage tree
  • Urban tree
  • Urban history
  • Tree conservation
  • Tree habitat
  • Macau


Dive into the research topics of 'Species diversity and spatial pattern of old and precious trees in Macau'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.