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Urban Ecosystems 

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Estimating urban lawn cover in space and time: Case studies in three Swedish cities
Abstract Lawns are considered monocultures and lesser contributors to sustainability than diverse nature but are still a dominating green area feature and an important cultural phenomenon in cities. Lawns have esthetical values, provide playground, are potential habitat for species, contribute to carbon sequestration and water infiltration, but also increase pesticides, fertilization, are monocultures and costly to manage at the same time. To evaluate the potential impact of lawns, whether positive or negative, it is of interest to estimate the total lawn cover in cities...
Spatio-temporal variation in the body condition of female pied flycatcher ( Ficedula hypoleuca ) in a polluted environment
Abstract Food-chain changes in urban and industrial sites may limit breeding-time resources (e.g. food availability) for small insectivorous passerines. We used a long-term data set of pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca), collected from one of the most polluted sites in Finland during the past 23 years to study the effects of metal pollution on body condition of breeding females. Our results show that body mass started to decline already some days before hatching, indicating a preparation of females to forthcoming chick feeding period. We did not find long-term...
Factors determining the occupancy of Trumpeter Hornbills in urban-forest mosaics of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Abstract Understanding the factors determining the occupancy and detection probability of birds in human dominated environments is important for their conservation. In this study we investigated various environmental variables believed to influence the site occupancy and detection probability of Trumpeter Hornbill (Bycanistes bucinator) in urban-forest mosaics of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Presence/absence data were collected from a total of 50 point count stations established between September 2014 and March 2015 in urban-forest mosaics of Durban, Eshowe and Mtunzini...
Correlation between the geometrical characteristics of streets and morphological features of trees for the formation of tree lines in the urban design of the city of Orestiada, Greece
16. Februar 2017
Abstract This paper classifies the streets of the city of Orestiada, Greece, and examines the correlation between the geometric characteristics of streets and the appropriate height of trees that form the street tree lines so that the microclimate in each street may be improved. The rows of trees improve the aesthetic quality of the urban spaces, and also strengthen the sense of enclosure through tree planting, especially in monotonous urban landscapes. Our main aim is to augment the vegetation in urban areas to achieve the greatest shading of streets in order to...
Urbanization impacts the taxonomic and functional structure of aquatic macroinvertebrate communities in a small Neotropical city
07. Februar 2017
Abstract Due to habitat fragmentation, resource disruption and pollution, urbanization is one of the most destructive forms of anthropization affecting ecosystems worldwide. Generally, human-mediated perturbations dramatically alter species diversity in urban sites compared to the surroundings, thus influencing the functioning of the entire ecosystem. We investigated the taxonomic and functional diversity patterns of the aquatic macroinvertebrate communities in tank bromeliads by comparing those found in a small Neotropical city with those from an adjacent rural site...
An experimental evaluation of foraging decisions in urban and natural forest populations of Anolis lizards
07. Februar 2017
Abstract Foraging decisions reflect a trade-off between the benefits of acquiring food and the costs of movement. Changes in the biotic and abiotic environment associated with urbanization can alter this trade-off and modify foraging decisions. We experimentally manipulated foraging opportunities for two Anolis lizard species – the brown anole (A. sagrei) in Florida and the crested anole (A. cristatellus) in Puerto Rico – to assess whether foraging behavior differs between habitats varying in their degree of urbanization. In both urban and natural forest habitats, we...
Mountain chickadees adjust songs, calls and chorus composition with increasing ambient and experimental anthropogenic noise
07. Februar 2017
Abstract Vocal plasticity may allow birds to reduce masking effects of noise pollution arising from urbanization. Mountain chickadees (Poecile gambeli) use both songs and calls during the dawn chorus, which vary in masking susceptibility. Thus, increasing song or call frequency, or switching between vocalization types are all potential mechanisms to reduce masking during fluctuating noise conditions. Further, prior experience with noise pollution may be a necessary precursor to allow birds to alter signals in response to sudden noisy conditions. To determine how mountain...
Bat boxes in urban non-native forests: a popular practice that should be reconsidered
01. Februar 2017
Abstract Impact mitigation practices are currently one of the hottest topics in conservation and regarded as priorities worldwide. Forest bat populations are known to provide important ecosystem services such as pest control and bat boxes have become one of the most popular management options for counteracting the loss of roosts. However, bat boxes tend to be employed in non-native forests near highly humanized areas where human disturbance is higher. The aim of this study was to evaluate how the surrounding landscape composition affects bat box occupancy in urban...
Snake communities on the urban fringe in the Sonoran Desert: influences on species richness and abundance
01. Februar 2017
Abstract Sonoran Desert habitat in southern Arizona is increasingly altered by urban development near metropolitan areas. Understanding how reptiles respond in these impacted habitats is critical to conservation efforts to retain intact biotic communities, especially those with a high diversity of reptile species. We surveyed snakes at one impacted site on the northern edge of the Phoenix metropolitan area in desert/urban interface, and at another site in a desert/rural interface near Florence, Arizona. The site near Phoenix was lower in species richness (15 spp.), and...
The matrix affects carabid beetle assemblages in linear urban ruderal habitats
01. Februar 2017
Abstract Matrix contrasts affect communities in patchy landscapes by influencing resources, abiotic conditions and spill-over effects. However, current knowledge is significantly biased towards forest and rural communities. We examined the effects of three different matrix types, i.e., low, intermediate and high contrasts, on carabid beetle assemblages at urban railway verges in two climatic regions. Study sites were located in Finland and in Slovenia. Using pitfall trapping, non-metric multidimensional scaling and generalised linear mixed models, we investigated carabid...
The influence of small urban parks characteristics on bird diversity: A case study of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
01. Februar 2017
Abstract The capacity of small urban park to serve as urban habitats are rarely explored. This study analyses the characteristics of small urban parks and their potential to support urban biodiversity and ecological functions. Nine small urban parks were studied in Malaysia in August and September 2014 using the combined field survey method of structured observation and field measurements. The measured variables were divided into three broad categories of physical characteristics, species richness and human factors. Bird species richness and abundance were used as the...
Floristic composition and richness of urban domestic gardens in three urban socioeconomic stratifications in the city Heredia, Costa Rica
01. Februar 2017
Abstract The urban domestic gardens that are part of urban green areas have become a very important element due to their ecosystematic benefits and the poor information about them. Information regarding the floristic richness of three socioeconomic stratifications from the city of Heredia, Costa Rica is presented in this study. Research was conducted from October 2011 to May 2012. Information was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire, which was provided to 61 garden owners, including the owner’s personal data, time living in the dwelling, area of the...
Estimating stormwater runoff for community gardens in New York City
01. Februar 2017
Abstract Community gardens are critical ecological infrastructure in cities providing an important link between people and urban nature. The documented benefits of community gardens include food production, recreational opportunities, and a wide number of social benefits such as improving community stability, reducing crime, and physical and mental health benefits. While much of the literature cites community gardens as providing environmental benefits for cities, there is little empirical evidence of these benefits. Here we examine the stormwater runoff benefits of...
Effects of biodiversity and environment-related attitude on perception of urban green space
01. Februar 2017
Abstract Green space in cities contributes to the quality of life for city dwellers, e.g., by increasing the opportunity for recreation. However, perception of urban green space is influenced by multiple factors. We investigated effects of biodiversity and environment-related attitudes on visual and auditory perceptions of urban green space. Field measurements of biodiversity were conducted in six sites across an urban gradient in Gothenburg, Sweden, and three categories of biodiversity—high, medium, low—were established. Households were sent a survey on aesthetic...
Towards a comprehensive green infrastructure typology: a systematic review of approaches, methods and typologies
01. Februar 2017
Abstract There is no consensus on a comprehensive classification for green infrastructure (GI). This is a consequence of the diversity of disciplines, application contexts, methods, terminologies, purposes and valuation criteria for which a GI typology is required. The aim of this systematic literature review is to evaluate the existing evidence on how GI is being categorised and characterised worldwide. We reviewed a total of 85 studies from 15 countries that were analysed for contextual trends, methods, parameters and typologies. Results show that relevant literature...
Modeling above-ground carbon storage: a remote sensing approach to derive individual tree species information in urban settings
01. Februar 2017
Abstract Vegetation has gained importance in respective debates about climate change mitigation and adaptation in cities. Although recently developed remote sensing techniques provide necessary city-wide information, a sufficient and consistent city-wide information of relevant urban ecosystem services, such as carbon emissions offset, does not exist. This study uses city-wide, high-resolution, and remotely sensed data to derive individual tree species information and to estimate the above-ground carbon storage of urban forests in Berlin, Germany. The variance of tree...
A comparison of soil carbon dynamics in residential yards with and without trees
01. Februar 2017
Abstract Residential lawns provide chronosequences to examine influences of home age and aboveground tree biomass (ATB) on soil carbon (C) levels. Soil C dynamics were compared between 44 lawns with trees (LwT) and 23 without trees (PL). At the 0–15 cm depth, LwT had higher mean soil C than PL and an earlier rise in median soil C across home age. Nonparametric quantile regression also showed a steeper rise in the 5th, 50th, and 95th soil C quantiles for LwT. Fitted polynomial regression models indicated that home age and ATB together accounted for 40 % of the soil C...
Which traits influence the frequency of plant species occurrence in urban habitat types?
01. Februar 2017
Abstract Plants in cities must cope with various anthropogenic environments that differ from surrounding landscapes. Moreover, the differences in biotic and abiotic conditions among these habitats filter species with suitable traits and niche requirements. Here we aim to identify those attributes that promote species occurrence across and within urban habitat types of large cities. Species composition of spontaneously occurring vascular plant species was recorded in 1-ha plots in seven different urban habitat types in each of 32 European cities. Each species was...
I’m not like everybody else: urbanization factors shaping spatial distribution of native and invasive ants are species-specific
01. Februar 2017
Abstract Urbanization is a major global change inducing complex and multiple modifications of landscapes and ecosystems. The spatial distributions of organisms experiencing these modifications will likely shift specifically, depending on each species’ response to each environmental modification induced by urbanization. We sampled two ant genera (Lasius and Tetramorium) at 1248 locations along an urbanization gradient in Lyon, France and used high resolution spatial layers for 18 spatial (e.g., open habitat fragmentation, bioclimatic data and surface temperatures) and...
Estimating free-roaming cat populations and the effects of one year Trap-Neuter-Return management effort in a highly urban area
01. Februar 2017
Abstract Free-roaming cat populations are increasing in urban areas around the world. Management strategies remain controversial, as attempts to rapidly minimize the impact of cats may conflict with finding an ethical means of population reduction in this domesticated species. Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a non-lethal strategy which can theoretically lead to population decline with an ethical approach. The present study aimed to estimate free-roaming cat populations and also to measure the efficacy of a one-year TNR campaign in a highly urban area. Using a sight/resight...

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