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Urban Ecosystems 

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Erratum to: Predicting tree species richness in urban forests
01. August 2017
Predicting tree species richness in urban forests
01. August 2017
Abstract There has been an increasing interest in urban forests and the levels of biodiversity they contain. Currently there are no spatially explicit maps of tree species richness in urban areas. This research tests and identifies GIS and remote sensing metrics (climate, area, productivity, three-dimensional structure) hypothesized to be associated with species richness in native forests and identifies methods that can be applied to predict and map tree species richness in cities. We quantified tree species richness, floristic composition, and structure in 28 1-ha plots...
Horizontal and vertical island biogeography of arthropods on green roofs: a review
01. August 2017
Abstract From an ecological perspective, urban green roofs can be viewed as green islands embedded in an urban matrix. Island biogeography theory suggests that species richness on an island is the outcome of dynamic equilibrium between immigration and extinction. Immigration is affected by the size of an island and distance of an island from a colonizing source. In the context of green roofs, building height and horizontal distance from green areas can potentially be a limiting factor for many species. Here, we considered two distance components of green roofs...
Habitat richness and tree species richness of roundabouts: effects on site selection and the prevalence of arboreal caterpillars
01. August 2017
Abstract This study examined the relationship between the habitat and tree species richness of roundabouts and the abundance and species richness of tree-dwelling caterpillars, and thus the potential of urban roundabouts to support breeding populations. Total tree species number on sites was related to an increase in caterpillar abundance and a greater number of habitats was associated with a higher number of caterpillar species. An increase in the total number of trees was not correlated with a greater abundance of tree-feeding Lepidoptera; nor were native trees found...
A balancing act in urban social-ecology: human appreciation, ponds and dragonflies
01. August 2017
Abstract Green spaces in cities provide cultural ecosystems services (CES) such as nature connection, wildlife interaction and aesthetic appreciation which can improve aspects of human well-being. Recognising these benefits, researchers are now examining the complex relationship between humans and nature in urban social-ecology. Most studies investigate people’s appreciation and valuation of different green space features and their contribution to urban biodiversity. Recommendations arising from such studies are best practices to achieve a balance between landscape...
Evaluating the effectiveness of urban trees to mitigate storm water runoff via transpiration and stemflow
01. August 2017
Abstract Many cities in the Eastern United States are working to increase urban tree cover due to the hydrological services that trees provide, including the interception, storage and transpiration of water that would otherwise enter sewer systems. Despite the understanding that trees benefit urban ecosystems, there have been few studies that address the underlying physiology of different urban trees with regard to their capacity to take up water, particularly following rain events. We monitored the sap flow of nine species of trees in urban parks and linked sap flow to...
Plant-mycorrhizal fungi associations along an urbanization gradient: implications for tree seedling survival
01. August 2017
Abstract Mycorrhizal fungi symbioses can be critical determining if established seedlings survive or not. Currently, in remnant forests, plants and their fungal symbionts are exposed to varied anthropomorphic effects related to urbanization, however, little is known about their impact on this association. We investigated the relationship between mycorrhizal fungi and tree seedling survival along an urbanization gradient. We planted three species of temperate tree seedlings (Acer rubrum, Carya ovata, and Quercus rubra) in three landscapes: urban, suburban, and rural. We...
Analysis of environmental flow requirements for macroinvertebrates in a creek affected by urban drainage (Prague metropolitan area, Czech Republic)
01. August 2017
Abstract The habitat suitability index and environmental flow requirements were assessed for ten species of macroinvertebrates in a 2 km length section of the urban Botič creek (average flow 0.4 m3 s−1) in Prague. Botič creek has been affected by two combined sewer overflows (CSO). Spring, summer and fall seasonal environmental flow requirements were identified using the Physical HABitat SIMulation System (PHABSIM) approach for the whole macroinvertebrate community: Spring – optimal flow 0.32–0.38 m3 s−1, minimal flow 0.20–0.21 m3 s−1 and maximal...
Changes in the representation of alien taxa in ruderal vegetation of an urban ecosystem over 50 years. A case study from Malacky city, Slovakia, Central Europe
01. August 2017
Abstract This paper analyses changes in the representation of alien taxa in ruderal vegetation of a model urban ecosystem. Two datasets of phytosociological relevés of ruderal communities from the area of Malacky (a city in southwestern Slovakia) were analysed. The relevés were recorded 50 years apart, the old relevés were recorded in the years 1954–1969 and the more recent relevés in the years 2014–2015. The average values of percentage number and percentage cover of archaeophytes and neophytes as groups in old and more recent datasets were compared. We also...
Seed limitation and lack of downed wood, not invasive species, threaten conifer regeneration in an urban forest
01. August 2017
Abstract Urban forests provide valuable ecosystem services, but their long-term viability is often threatened by low tree recruitment due to seed and/or microsite limitation. Distinguishing between these two causes of low recruitment has important management implications, but has been little studied in urban environments. We tested for seed and microsite limitation in an urban forested park in Seattle, Washington, USA by adding conifer tree seeds and seedlings to experimental plots in which we manipulated microsite conditions by removing invasive ivy (Hedera spp.) and...
Habitat rehabilitation in urban waterways: the ecological potential of bank protection structures for benthic invertebrates
01. August 2017
Abstract Compensating for the adverse ecological impacts of waterway development and improving their ecological functioning to achieve good ecological potential (GEP) have become mandatory within the European Union (EU). The technical rehabilitation measures presented here aim to functionally minimize the hydraulic impacts of navigation on aquatic biota in highly urbanized waterways. Their ecological functioning and potential to enhance biodiversity locally was assessed by comparing their macro-invertebrate community composition with nearby non-restored sites...
Seasonal patterns of urban bird diversity in a Mediterranean coastal city: the positive role of open green spaces
01. August 2017
Abstract Urbanization causes rapid changes in the landscape and land use, exerting a significant pressure on bird communities. The effect of urbanization on bird diversity has been widely investigated in many cities worldwide; however, our knowledge on urban bird communities from the eastern Mediterranean region is very scarce. In this context, we aimed to investigate the effect of the different land-cover types on bird species richness and abundance in a densely built coastal Mediterranean city (Patras, Greece) during the breeding and wintering seasons. We sampled the...
Application of the experimental watershed approach to advance urban watershed precipitation/discharge understanding
01. August 2017
Abstract Reliable methods are required to provide the detailed hydrologic information necessary to improve management of water resources and aquatic ecosystems in developing/urbanizing watersheds. A case study was implemented in a representative 230 km2 mixed-use, urbanizing watershed to advance precipitation/discharge understanding. Precipitation and streamflow were monitored in five sub-watersheds (nested-scale experimental watershed study design), partitioned by dominant land use type. Data were collected at 30-min intervals through the 2009 to 2015 water years...
Contrasting strategies for tree species to cope with heat and dry conditions at urban sites
01. August 2017
Abstract Street trees planted at tree pits with impermeable pavements are exposed to a high level of both, atmospheric and edaphic stress. For many species tree physiology, optimal growth, and consequently long-term vitality may be hampered under these harsh conditions. Therefore, maintaining the vitality and promoting the ecosystem services provided by urban trees, for example aesthetic values and microclimatic benefits, it is important to establish trees with a high tolerance to stressful urban environments. Measurements of leaf gas exchange, leaf water potential...
Determinants of species richness within and across taxonomic groups in urban green spaces
01. August 2017
Abstract Urban green spaces provide habitat for numerous plant and animal species. However, currently we have little knowledge on which determinants drive the species richness within and across taxonomic groups. In this paper we investigate the determinants of total, native, and endangered species richness for vascular plants, birds, and mammals within and across taxonomic groups. We examined a stratified random sample of 32 urban green spaces in Hannover, Germany. Species inventories for plants and birds were generated on the basis of line transect surveys. Mammals...
Predicting impacts of urbanized stream processes on biota: high flows and river chub ( Nocomis micropogon ) nesting activity
01. August 2017
Abstract This study quantified the impact of high stream flows on reproductive activities of river chub (Nocomis micropogon). Using observed relationships between flow and reproductive activities, the number of predicted damaging flow events was compared between streams with extant river chub populations and urbanized streams. Monitoring the survivorship of river chub nests during 2013–2014 (N = 101) revealed consistent relationships between interval peak flow measured at flow gauges and the integrity of river chub nests within sites. Flow-mediated disruption of...
Annual variation in prey composition of domestic cats in rural and urban environment
01. August 2017
Abstract The threat that domestic cats pose to wildlife has gained increased recognition by researchers and conservationists, and in this study, we investigated the seasonal variability and the effects of environment type (rural vs. urban) on the prey composition of free-ranging house cats in Poland. We analysed the variability in 307 monthly prey samples of different prey items killed by cats and brought to their owners (i.e., prey brought home by cats living in one home in one month) between 2002 and 2007 at 26 rural and urban sites. The variability in prey...
Urban flora in the Southeast Europe and its correlation with urbanization
01. August 2017
Abstract Many studies have refuted the opinion that urban floras are poor in total species number and characterized primarily by neophytes. Also, it has been proved that urban flora differs from its surroundings, and at the same time reflects its richness. Our study focused on urban flora, structure and similarities, and the possible correlation with the urban attributes. Therefore, we selected 11 cities in Southeast Europe, which differ in the development of transportation networks (roads, rails and inland waterways) and population size. Next, we compared two sets of...
A socio-ecological perspective of urban green networks: the Stockholm case
01. August 2017
Abstract Landscape fragmentation threatens habitats, biodiversity and other ecosystem services. In tackling this threat, the dynamic processes of social-ecological systems should be recognised and understood. Although network analysis based on graph theory has been recognised as an efficient way of spatially understanding landscape or habitat connectivity, only few studies have offered specific approaches or suggestions for integrating detailed social-ecological values into geographical distributions. As a contribution to bridging this gap, this paper introduces a...
Bats in urban areas of Brazil: roosts, food resources and parasites in disturbed environments
01. August 2017
Abstract Urbanization is a widespread intense land use that generally results in biodiversity decline. Among the taxa capable to adapt to urban landscapes, bats are particularly ubiquitous. Brazil has one of the world’s largest diversity of bat species and one of the highest urbanization rates of the world. Yet, few studies have synthesized the biology of bats in urban environments, especially in Brazil. To fill this gap, we systematically reviewed the published scientific literature on the bat fauna found in urban areas of Brazil. The knowledge of urban bats is still...

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