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Urban Ecosystems 

Latest Results for Urban Ecosystems
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Humans and urban development mediate the sympatry of competing carnivores
17. April 2018
Abstract Humans can profoundly shape animal community dynamics, but such effects have rarely been evaluated for terrestrial carnivores. Humans affect carnivores in both spatial and temporal dimensions via the chance of human encounter and alteration of the landscape through urban development. We investigated three hypotheses regarding how humans mediate the sympatry of larger, dominant carnivores with their smaller, subordinate counterparts. We tested these hypotheses by examining the spatio-temporal dynamics of a dominant carnivore (coyote Canis latrans) and its...
Socioeconomic and ecological perceptions and barriers to urban tree distribution and reforestation programs
16. April 2018
Abstract Tree planting and reforestation initiatives in urban and peri-urban areas often use tree distribution or “giveaway” programs as a strategy to increase tree cover and subsequent benefits. However, the effectiveness of these programs in terms of increasing overall tree cover and providing benefits to low-income and disadvantaged communities has been little studied. We assess these programs by exploring community participation in, and barriers to, an urban tree distribution program in Fort Lauderdale, United States and the role socioeconomic background and tree...
Floral morphology as the main driver of flower-feeding insect occurrences in the Paris region
14. April 2018
Abstract Through the rapid expansion worldwide of impervious areas and habitat fragmentation, urbanization has strong consequences that must be understood to efficiently manage biodiversity. We studied the effects of urbanization on flower-feeding insects by using data from a citizen science program in the Parisian region. We analysed the occurrence of insects from 46 different families on flowers of different morphologies, using landscape indices in buffer areas from a 100-m to a 4000-m radius around 1194 sampled sites. Our aims were to determine (i) how the proportion...
City parks vs. natural areas - is it possible to preserve a natural level of bee richness and abundance in a city park?
13. April 2018
Abstract Urbanisation is an expansive process and a majority of insects live in human-modified areas. At the same time, a decrease in pollinator species richness and abundance has recently been observed in Europe, which in turn may have serious ecological and economic consequences. This study investigates the abundance, species richness and functional traits of wild bees in urban city parks in comparison to natural areas. The aim of this research was to assess the potential conservation values of urban green areas for bees. The present study demonstrates that a large and...
Birds biodiversity in urban and periurban forests: environmental determinants at local and landscape scales
09. April 2018
Abstract A significant decline in biodiversity is associated with the current and upcoming degree of urbanization. A challenging strategy to address this conflict is to make urban growth compatible with biodiversity protection and in this context urban parks can play a crucial role. Urban systems are highly dynamic and complex human-shaped ecosystems, where the relationship between species and environment may be altered and make the preservation of biodiversity within them a challenging goal. In this study, we analysed how different environmental features affect bird...
Ichthyofauna diet changes in response to urbanization: the case of upper Paranapanema River basin (Brazil)
04. April 2018
Abstract Alterations in stream environments can alter fish food availability, but there is little research data related to the impacts of urbanization on fish diets in tropical streams. Thus, we sought to compare the diet of ten fish species in urbanized and non-urbanized streams reaches. Fish stomach contents were obtained for four urban and five non-urban stream reaches from two medium-sized cities. We verified the similarity of diet composition from urbanized/non-urbanized streams. In-stream features mainly related to the substrate highlighted a perturbation gradient...
From feedbacks to coproduction: toward an integrated conceptual framework for urban ecosystems
02. April 2018
Abstract Research in urban ecology depends on frameworks that meaningfully integrate our understanding of biophysical and social change. Although the coupled nature of urban ecosystems is widely accepted, the core mechanisms we use to integrate the social and biophysical aspects of urban ecosystems – their social-ecological feedbacks – are poorly understood. This paper considers how feedbacks are used to conceptualize social-ecological change, noting their utility and their limitations. In so doing, we suggest that coproduction provides a meaningful alternative to...
Reducing avian mortality from noise barrier collisions along an urban roadway
01. April 2018
Abstract Anthropogenic changes, including road network, have strongly influenced biodiversity of Europe. For the past 100 years road networks have become a conspicuous part of European landscape and strongly affected environment and human well-being, including effect by noise. To reduce impact of noise the special barriers (mainly transparent) are installed along a road. Annually thousands of birds die in collision with glass and acrylic screens, and these are important causes of avian mortality. Here we report about and describe how to prevent the lethal hazards that...
Renaissance of a rural artifact in a city with a million people: biodiversity responses to an agro-forestry restoration in a large urban traditional fruit orchard
01. April 2018
Abstract The rural landscapes surrounding large cities are rapidly becoming incorporated into the urban environment. The most conspicuous changes involve green spaces, such as former agro-forestry systems like fruit orchards. In this paper, we assess the influence on biodiversity of restoring a large urban traditional fruit orchard as reflected by six selected taxa: plants, lichens, butterflies, beetles, orthopteroids and birds. The study was performed in Prague, which is the capital city of the Czech Republic and has more than a million inhabitants. We studied the...
Human perceptions of an avian predator in an urban ecosystem: close proximity to nests increases fondness among local residents
01. April 2018
Abstract How humans view their local birds influences the habitat quality for the birds. Humans that enjoy birds will often consider them when altering landscapes or may enhance their own property to benefit the birds (e.g. maintaining birdfeeders, keeping cats indoors). Human perceptions of hawks are unique as hawks predatory and much larger than most other urban birds. From June–July 2016, we surveyed 280 homes near Red-tailed Hawk’s (Buteo jamaicensis) nests in Reno-Sparks, NV about their perceptions of and experiences with hawks. Seventy percent of residents...
Bird diversity of greenspaces in the densely developed city centre of Taipei
01. April 2018
Abstract Urban greenspaces harbouring many species in cities are vital planning objects for enhancing biodiversity. Seeking to optimise ecological values of urban greenspaces, this paper explores 1. Bird composition by feeding and foraging characteristics in urban greenspaces located in densely developed central districts of Taipei City; and 2. Important features of greenspaces and underlying built environments that influence bird abundance, species richness, and diversity. Results show that the majority of birds found in the study sites are omnivorous and ground...
An urban stream can support a healthy population of coastal cutthroat trout
01. April 2018
Abstract Urbanization presents numerous challenges to aquatic species. For fish, typical threats include altered flow dynamics, poor water quality, and degraded food webs. These threats can be detrimental to fish and whether urban environments can support healthy populations is unclear. Tryon Creek is one of the largest urban watersheds in Portland, Oregon where developed land accounts for 55.6% of total land use. We used demographic, life history, disease, and genetic indices to assess the overall health of the Coastal Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii) population...
The application of graph theory and percolation analysis for assessing change in the spatial configuration of pond networks
01. April 2018
Abstract Pond networks support high levels of biodiversity when compared to other freshwater ecosystems such as rivers, lakes and streams. The persistence of species in these small, sometimes ephemeral, aquatic habitats depends on the dispersal of individuals among ponds in the landscape. However, the number of ponds across the landscape is at a historical low as urbanisation and intensified agricultural practices have led to a substantial loss of ponds (nodes in the pond network) over more than a century. Here, we examine the extent and drivers of pond loss in a...
Comparison of localities of European hamster ( Cricetus cricetus ) in the areas of high and low level of human activity
01. April 2018
Abstract European hamster (Cricetus cricetus) holds the status of a strictly protected species with the necessity to be active protected. The decline in its population and limitations in the native habitats in Europe is probably closely related to the loss of their habitats among others due to development of infrastructure and urbanization. On the other side urban areas can be an alternative habitat for hamsters. This study compared the functioning of local population of hamsters inhabiting two areas of high and low level and different kind of human activity. Few key...
Stream restoration in Andean cities: learning from contrasting restoration approaches
01. April 2018
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...
The use of military bunkers by the European badger and red fox in Western Europe
01. April 2018
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...
Dynamic wetland mosaic environments and Asian openbill habitat creation in peri-urban Bangkok
01. April 2018
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...
Large-scale commonness is the best predictor of bird species presence in European cities
01. April 2018
Abstract Urban bird communities are homogenized across large spatial scales, suggesting that the urban environment acts as an environmental filter. We hypothesize that large scale commonness is a better predictor of urban affinity of birds than any particular species trait. We estimated the relative importance of taxonomy, reproductive, ecological and morphological traits, and commonness of individual bird species. We compiled data on i) breeding bird communities of 41 European cities from urban bird atlases, and ii) regional bird assemblages defined by nine grid cells...
Aerodynamic roughness variation with vegetation: analysis in a suburban neighbourhood and a city park
01. April 2018
Abstract Local aerodynamic roughness parameters (zero-plane displacement, z d , and aerodynamic roughness length, z 0 ) are determined for an urban park and a suburban neighbourhood with a new morphometric parameterisation that includes vegetation. Inter-seasonal analysis at the urban park demonstrates z d determined with two anemometric methods is responsive to vegetation state and is 1–4 m greater during leaf-on periods. The...
Habitat selection by an avian top predator in the tropical megacity of Delhi: human activities and socio-religious practices as prey-facilitating tools
01. April 2018
Abstract Research in urban ecology is growing rapidly in response to the exponential growth of the urban environment. However, few studies have focused on tropical megacities, and on the interplay between predators’ habitat selection and human socio-economic aspects, which may mediate their resilience and coexistence with humans. We examined mechanisms of breeding habitat selection by a synanthropic raptor, the Black Kite Milvus migrans, in Delhi (India) where kites mainly subsist on: (1) human refuse and its associated prey-fauna, and (2) ritualised feeding of kites...

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