Vegetation in the urban area showed not only a difference in species composition but also lower diversity compared with that of the natural area. Successional trend was normal in natural area, but that in urban areas showed a retrogressive pattern. Korean mountain ash (Sorbus alnifolia (Siebold & Zucc.) K.Koch), a shade intolerant species, dominated such a retrogressive succession. The vegetation decline is due to changes of mesoclimate and soil properties that imbalanced distribution of green space induced as the result of urbanization. In recent years, new environmental stress due to climate change is imposed additively to this forest decline. Drought is the very environmental stress. Drought-induced plant damage started from withering of leaves of plants introduced for landscaping in the urban area. Over time, branches died and death of the whole plant body followed. In particular, damage of Korean mountain ash, the product of retrogressive succession, was remarkable. As retrogressive succession has already progressed much, thus such phenomenon could be recognized as crisis of urban forest.
Part of the book: Forest Degradation Around the World