The factors we chose to look at were the number of branches on each tree, the number of cut branches, number of tree cavities, distance from human infrastructure and understory diversity. We characterized understory diversity as the number of species, plant or animal living below or on the tree, whether it be fungi, bird nests, or shrubbery.
What we found was that for on average, trees off campus had a greater number of tree cavities and understory diversity. We also found a correlation between understory diversity and tree cavities, meaning the more tree cavities, the greater the understory diversity.
What this possibly means is that tree management techniques preventing tree cavities from forming may be decreasing the ecological value of the tree and that maybe in the future, these tree cavities can be allowed by management teams to allow for more species inhabitance.