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Urban Ecosystems 

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Alien aquatic plants in wetlands of a large European city (Geneva, Switzerland): from diagnosis to risk assessment
11. Dezember 2017
Abstract Wetlands often form an important component in the urban matrix, where they are largely disseminated. Despite the abundance of these urban waterbodies, little is known about the spread of alien aquatic plant species in cities. Ponds are frequent in urban parks and domestic gardens where terrestrial alien plant species are common. Therefore, urban ponds are likely to support many aquatic alien species which might disperse to the natural environment. To investigate this potential, we collected data from 178 ponds in a large European city (Geneva, Switzerland), across...
Stream restoration in Andean cities: learning from contrasting restoration approaches
02. Dezember 2017
Abstract The Andes region is one of the fastest urbanizing regions of the world. The current rate of environmental degradation of streams in this region create an urgent need for sanitation and restoration programs that restore the ecological quality of streams while providing green and recreational areas. The tectonics of the area and its vulnerability to climate change adds relevance to wise landscape management in urban areas. Recent restoration efforts have been conducted with differing degrees of community involvement. Based on their social and ecological restoration...
The use of military bunkers by the European badger and red fox in Western Europe
02. Dezember 2017
Abstract Intensification of agriculture and land consolidation policy induced the removal of most natural features from farmland, reducing the habitat of many wild species. Abandoned WWII bunkers, unaffected by land consolidation, are a potential shelter for wildlife and could be used as burrows by carnivores such as European badgers and red foxes. We explored 182 abandoned bunkers in a farmland area in eastern France in summer 2016. Bunkers were located in crops, forests, or groves. Over a three-month period, signs of presence, the number and type of...
Variability of bumblebee communities (Apidae, Bombini) in urban green areas
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract Based on current research the agglomerations are potentially desirable habitats for bumblebees. However, the relationship between the biodiversity of these bees and the green areas where they live is poorly understood. The aim of the study was to estimate the influence of green areas (ranging from 8 to 102 ha) of big cities on bumblebee species richness, composition, and the relative number of these insects. The studies were conducted within the administrative borders of the city of Wrocław (Poland) in 2011–2012 in 12 green areas such as parks, cemeteries...
Atypical feeding of woodpeckers, crows and redstarts on mass-swarming Hydropsyche pellucidula caddisflies attracted to glass panes
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract Artificial shiny dark objects reflecting horizontally polarized light (e.g. asphalt roads, black cars, solar panels) can attract polarotactic aquatic insects in mass. Glass buildings on the riverside also lure swarming caddisflies emerging from the river. These caddisfly swarms are a temporary rich food source for certain bird species, such as white wagtails (Motacilla alba), house sparrows (Passer domesticus), magpies (Pica pica) and great tits (Parus major). We report here about our observation of great spotted woodpeckers (Dendrocopos major), hooded crows...
Relationships between landscape pattern metrics, vertical structure and surface urban Heat Island formation in a Colorado suburb
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract Change in land surface temperature (LST) due to urbanization is a critical influence on the ecohydrological function and human health in cities. Past research has emphasized land cover composition and planimetric landscape pattern as drivers of LST patterns, but there have been few empirical studies examining the effects of vertical structure on thermal variation in cities. We used agglomerative cluster analysis to group 5 ha grid cells with similar land cover composition from high-resolution land cover data for our Aurora, Colorado, USA study area. We then...
The effects of scatter-hoarding rodents on Mongolian oak ( Quercus mongolica ) acorn dispersal and seedling distribution in urban woodland
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract Scatter-hoarding by animals is an effective mechanism for seed dispersal and plant regeneration in natural ecosystems, however, studies on the interaction between hoarding animals and urban forest are insufficient. By methods of acorn placement experiment, cache and seedling survey, the relationship between acorn dispersal and seedlings distribution of Mongolian oak (Quercus mongolica) and scatter hoarding rodents was investigated at the Northeast Forestry University Woodland of Harbin, China. Results indicated that main scatter hoarding rodents of acorns were...
Rainfall events drive foraging choices by an urban coloniser
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract Using a seven-year data set of visitation of an inner city park by the Australian white ibis, we investigated whether rain events were correlated with ibis abundance in the park. The park is associated with high levels of anthropogenic food, but relatively low levels of natural food sources. For all magnitudes of rainfall tested, ibis abundance significantly decreased after a rainfall event, although stronger responses were associated with higher rainfall, with a 46% decline in ibis abundance following rainfall events of ≥60 mm. Average ibis abundance was...
Agricultural food resources and the foraging ecologies of American black ducks ( Anas rubripes ) and mallards ( Anas platyrhynchos ) at the northern limits of their winter ranges
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract Atlantic Canada is the northern limit of the American black duck (Anas rubripes) wintering range, and more recently, the mallard (A. platyrhynchos) wintering range. Atlantic Canada has experienced considerable urban and agricultural development over the last century, and wintering black ducks and mallards appear to be using these habitats, in addition to traditional coastal habitat to survive the winters. This paper combines digestive tract content and stable isotope analysis to provide a comprehensive analysis of winter black duck and mallard diet in Atlantic...
Soil lead contamination decreases bee visit duration at sunflowers
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract Legacies of lead contamination present challenges in the management of urban greenspaces for beneficial insect conservation. In particular, the sublethal effects of lead contamination on bee foraging behavior could negatively impact plant-pollinator interactions and the sustainability of urban agriculture. It is difficult, however, to distinguish between differences in foraging behavior caused by lead contamination directly as compared to differences resulting from variation in floral traits, which can also be affected by contamination. We compared the foraging...
Substrate influence on aromatic plant growth in extensive green roofs in a Mediterranean climate
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract Green roofs have been described as technical solutions to overcome urban environmental problems, such as decrease of vegetation and stormwater management. In the present study, two pilot 20 m2 extensive green roofs were implemented in an urban Mediterranean region, at a 1st storey on a warehouse building structure, in order to test the adequacy of different substrates for supporting aromatic plants (Lavandula dentata, Helichrysum italicum, Satureja montana, Thymus caespititius and Thymus pseudolanuginosus). Experimental substrates included expanded clay and...
Effects of habitat and landscape quality on amphibian assemblages of urban stormwater ponds
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract Urbanisation is one of the most severe drivers of current global biodiversity loss and has contributed to severe declines in many amphibian species. The aim of this study was to determine whether artificial stormwater ponds, designed to control water flow, can act as refuges for amphibians in urban areas. Moreover, we analysed the influence of habitat and landscape quality on amphibian species richness of 46 stormwater ponds (STOPON) in comparison to 46 control ponds (CONTROL). Our study revealed that environmental conditions clearly varied...
Nitrogen retention and loss in unfertilized lawns across a light gradient
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract A desirable function for terrestrial urban ecosystems is the mitigation of nitrogen (N) pollution associated with cities and suburbs. To assist in maximizing this function, identifying locations of sources and sinks of N in the urban environment is crucial to inform management strategies. Lawns are an extensive land cover in urbanized landscapes, and in general, they have demonstrated the capacity to function as a sink for N inputs. How N is cycled by lawns, however, is likely not uniform across the physical heterogeneity or management activities that exist in...
Foraging in the tropics: relationships among species’ abundances, niche asymmetries and body condition in an urban avian assemblage
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract Two main theories attempt to explain species coexistence: the neutral theory considers all the species as equivalents so biodiversity is mainly regarded as a function of total available resources (i.e. niche expansion), while the niche theory stresses the relevance of differences in niche use between species (i.e. niche packing). The relative importance of these forces is under discussion and has been largely tested in natural ecosystems. However, few studies have addressed this issue in tropical-urban environments. In this work we studied niche overlap...
Patterns of pollinator turnover and increasing diversity associated with urban habitats
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract The role of urban expansion on bee diversity is poorly understood, but it may play an important role in restructuring pollinator diversity observed in rural regions at the urban perimeter. We studied bee communities in two habitats essential for pollinators (residential gardens and semi-natural areas) at 42 sites situated at the edge of greater Montreal, Canada. Bee species richness, abundance and functional diversity all increased with urbanization in both habitat types, but gardens and semi-natural areas supported distinct bee communities with unique responses...
Nest design in a changing world: Great tit Parus major nests from a Mediterranean city environment as a case study
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract Investigations of urbanization effects on birds have focused mainly on breeding traits expressed after the nest-building stage (e.g. first-egg date, clutch size, breeding success, and offspring characteristics). Urban studies largely ignored how and why the aspects of nest building might be associated with the degree of urbanization. As urban environments are expected to present novel environmental changes relative to rural environments, it is important to evaluate how nest-building behavior is impacted by vegetation modifications associated with urbanization...
Is there a relationship between socio-economic factors and biodiversity in urban ponds? A study in the city of Stockholm
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract Urban small water bodies, such as ponds, are essential elements of human socio-economic landscapes. Ponds also provide important habitats for species that would otherwise not survive in the urban environment. Knowledge on the biodiversity of urban ponds and the relationship between their ecological value and factors linked to urbanization and socio-economic status is crucial for decisions on where and how to establish and manage ponds in cities to deliver maximum biodiversity benefits. Our study investigates if the pattern of urban-pond biodiversity can be...
Perceptions of severe storms, climate change, ecological structures and resiliency three years post-hurricane Sandy in New Jersey
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract Global warming is leading to increased frequency and severity of storms that are associated with flooding, increasing the risk to urban, coastal populations. This study examined perceptions of the relationship between severe storms, sea level rise, climate change and ecological barriers by a vulnerable environmental justice population in New Jersey. Patients using New Jersey’s Federally Qualified Health Centers were interviewed after Hurricane [Superstorm] Sandy because it is essential to understand the perceptions of uninsured, underinsured, and...
Dynamic wetland mosaic environments and Asian openbill habitat creation in peri-urban Bangkok
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract This study examined the spatial relationships between various types of wetland and the distribution of Asian openbills (Anastomus oscitans) as an indicator species in a peri-urban industrial area of Bangkok. We (1) mapped the study area by using a time series of aerial photographs combined with field validations, (2) conducted a 2-year line census of Asian openbills in the field, (3) interviewed local farmers and residents about Asian openbill populations and spatial distributions, and (4) conducted an overlay analysis to statistically identify land-use factors...
Urban habitats can affect body size and body condition but not immune response in amphibians
01. Dezember 2017
Abstract Does urbanization affect key life-history traits in native organisms? Some studies show that urban areas reduce diversity in certain taxa, but there is little insight into how these environments affect physiological and ecological traits. Urban areas have distinct physical structure and ecological processes compared to original habitats. The environmental changes associated with urban areas can influence the costs and benefits of different traits and behaviors of local organisms. Some of these effects have been explored in groups such as birds, but we might...

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