- Download PDF -

SEEFOR 3 (2): 79-85
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15177/seefor.12-09

Original scientific paper


Thermic Attenuation on Concrete Sidewalk under Urban Trees. Case Study: Santa Marta – Colombia

Carlos Devia 1*, Andrés Torres 2

1 Facultad de Estudios Ambientales y Rurales, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia
2 Facultad de Ingeniería, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia                                                                                                 

* Corresponding author: e-mail:  

DEVIA C, TORRES A 2012 Thermic Attenuation on Concrete Sidewalk under Urban Trees. Case Study: Santa Marta – Colombia. South-east Eur for 3 (2): 79-85. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15177/seefor.12-09 

Cited by:        CrossRef        Google Scholar


Background and Purpose: Urban trees provide a number of services including shade and thermal attenuation. This is related to morphological and physiological characteristics of trees and may vary between species and even between individuals of the same species. The aim of this work was to identify thermic attenuations on concrete sidewalks under six tropical urban trees with six different types of shadows.
Material and Methods: In Santa Marta City, Colombia (10º12´20” N, 74º13´33” W, 10 meters above sea level and 31ºC temperature), we selected six trees (species) with different types of shade, and they are evaluated for soil temperature and the temperature in the shade and off throughout the day for four different days of the year. ANOVA and t-tests were performed with R program in order to identify the influence of the specie, the day, the hour and the position (at the thermic comfort level, surface temperature) on the temperature results obtained. 
Results and Conclusion: Some trees have the most translucent shadows most likely due to nictinastic movements and consequently less temperature attenuation. On the other hand, other trees have denser shadows and can generate more substantial thermic attenuations. Regarding temperature data, the hour of the day shows the greatest influence on the variability of air temperature and the species shows the greatest influence on the variability of surface temperature. Honey berry (Meliccoca bijugatus) and Malay almond (Terminalia atappa) trees have denser shadows and can generate more substantial thermic attenuations. Tree physiology can play an important role in temperature attenuation in cities as a result of shadow effects and can be applied as a criterion to select urban trees in tropical cities.

Keywords: tropical trees, temperature, shadow, heat islands, urban trees 



  1. NOWAK D, CRANE D, STEVENS J 2006 Air pollution removal by urban trees and shrubs in the United States. Urban For Urban Gree 4 (3): 115-123. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2006.01.007
  2. AKBARI H 2002 Shade trees reduce building energy use and CO2 emissions from power plants. Environ Pollut 116 (1): 119-126. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0269-7491(01)00264-0
  3. HEISLER GM, GRANT RH 2002 Ultraviolet radiation in urban ecosystems with consideration of effects on human health. Urban Ecosyst 4 (3): 193-229. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1012210710900
  4. FISRWG 2005 Stream corridor restoration. Principles, processes and practices. EEUU: The Federal Interagency Stream Restoration Working Group
  5. EPA 2008 Reducing Urban Heat Islands: Compendium of Strategies Urban Heat Island Basics, p 22. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/hiri/resources/compendium.htm (Accessed: 13 May 2012)
  6. OKE TR 1989 The micrometeorology of the urban forest. Philos T Roy Soc B 324 (1223): 335-349. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.1989.0051
  7. SRIVASTAVA LM 2001 Plant Growth and Development. Hormones and Environment. Elsevier Science (USA) Academic press, p 777
  8. WHITFORD V, ENNOS AR, HANDLEY JF 2001 City form and natural processes: indicators for the ecological performance of urban areas and their application to Merseyside, UK. Landscape Urban Plan 20 (2): 91-103. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0169-2046(01)00192-X
  9. TYRVÄINEN L, PAULEIT S, SEELAND K, DE VRIES S 2005 Benefits and uses of urban forests and trees. In: Konijnendijk C C, Nilsson K, Randrup T B, Schipperjin J (eds) Urban Forests and Trees. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, pp 81-114. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/3-540-27684-X_5
  10. NOWAK D, CRANE D, STEVENS J, IBARRA M 2000 Brooklyn’s urban forest. General Technical Report NE-290. Northeastern Research Station, United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Borough of Brooklyn.
  11. TRAXLER RN 1961 Relation between Asphalt Composition and Hardening by Volatilization and Oxidation. Proceedings, Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists, Vol. 30, pp 359-377
  12. SOARES AL, REGO FC, MCPHERSON EG, SIMPSON JR, PEPER PJ, XIAO Q 2011 Benefits and costs of street trees in Lisbon, Portugal. Urban For Urban Gree 10 (2): 69-78. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2010.12.001
  13. MCPHERSON EG, MUCHNICK J 2005 Effects of street tree shade on asphalt concrete pavement performance. Journal of Arboriculture 31 (6): 303-310
  14. THURSTON RR, KNOWLES EC 1941 Asphalt and its constituents. Oxidation at Service Temperatures. Ind  Eng Chem 33 (3): 320-324. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ie50375a010
  15. GAGE SL, ROBERTSON JM, DONNELLY KC, HAGEN AP 1991 Qualitative assessment of the mutagenicity of road coating asphalt. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 47 (4): 617-622. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF01700954
  16. BELLARA S, ABDOU S 2013 Benefits and Well-Being Perceived by Pedestrian in Vegetated Urban Space in Periods of Heat Stress. International Journal of Engineering and Technology 5 (1): 20-24. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7763/IJET.2013.V5.502
    Available at: http://www.cioh.org.co/meteorologia/Climatologia/ResumenSantaMarta4.php (Accessed: 12 May 2012)


© 2015 by the Croatian Forest Research Institute. This is an Open Access paper distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0).