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Urban Ecosystems 

Latest Results for Urban Ecosystems
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Impacts of strengthened warming by urban heat island on carbon sequestration of urban ecosystems in a subtropical city of China
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Urban heat island could strengthen the warming trend of air temperature and cause the change of carbon cycle of urban ecosystems. The primary goal of this study was to explore the above phenomena in a subtropical city of Shenzhen. We selected four sites along a thermal gradient of the city and ran an ecological model to simulate hourly gross primary productivity and net ecosystem change of carbon for the purpose of analyzing the difference in the effects of urban heat island on vegetation growth and carbon sequestration. The work was also intended to help us...
Species-specific breeding habitat association of declining farmland birds within urban environments: conservation implications
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Human settlements represent important year-round habitats for many declining farmland birds; however, detailed knowledge of species-specific habitat associations is crucial for effective conservation of individual species. In this study, we examined the effect of environmental factors on the occurrence, population density, and habitat associations of three sedentary granivorous farmland bird species (house sparrow Passer domesticus, tree sparrow Passer montanus, and Eurasian collared dove Streptopelia decaocto) during the breeding season within an urban...
Street-level green spaces support a key urban population of the threatened Hispaniolan parakeet Psittacara chloropterus
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract While urbanisation remains a major threat to biodiversity, urban areas can sometimes play an important role in protecting threatened species, especially exploited taxa such as parrots. The Hispaniolan Parakeet Psittacara chloropterus has been extirpated across much of Hispaniola, including from most protected areas, yet Santo Domingo (capital city of the Dominican Republic) has recently been found to support the island’s densest remaining population. In 2019, we used repeated transects and point-counts across 60 1 km2 squares of Santo Domingo to examine the...
Parrots and the city: modeling potential corridors in an urban environment
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Urbanization is a worldwide problem affecting wildlife negatively. Cities cause habitat suppression, fragmentation, among other disease spreading, suitable conditions for exotic species, and direct animal kills—consequently, local native species might be extinct. Still, urban areas can also provide biodiversity maintenance because some species can be adapted to the urban environment. Here, we assess how the urban environment influences the displacement of native turquoise-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva). We created a map of environmental suitability to...
Grasslands provide diverse opportunities for bird species along an urban-rural gradient
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Urbanisation is a major cause of biodiversity loss but careful habitat management and provision of green space within cities can help to mitigate its negative effects. Grasslands occupy large surface areas and have many functions but only a few studies have begun to explore how birds exploit these habitats in urban contexts. We hypothesized that the value of grasslands for nesting and feeding birds is likely to depend both on landscape context, and on local characteristics (grassland size, use and vegetation structure). We surveyed local habitat characteristics...
Abundance and distribution of invasive woody shrub, Mahonia bealei, in the urban forest fragments of the southern Piedmont, USA
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Woody invasive plants are a pernicious threat to the structure and function of ecosystems worldwide. Due to the growing number of invasive species and the variable timeline of invasion, many invasive plants are unrecognized or underreported, leading to long-term ecological damage that is beyond the capability of cost-efficient management programs. Mahonia bealei is a woody shrub native to China that is invading urban forests of the southeastern U.S. and is likely underreported. This study (a product of a thesis research paper...
Bacterial community composition and functional potential associated with a variety of urban stormwater sources
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Pathogens and chemical contaminants in stormwater are major environmental and public health concerns. Characterizing the variability in composition and bioremediation functions of the microbial community from different sources of stormwater will help with efforts to properly manage water after it rains. To improve understanding of the variability and composition of the microbial community in run-off from different sources, we sampled stormwater over time from an outfall and receiving stream, along with run-off from different locations (rooftop, roadway) to...
The phenology of the endangered Nogal (Juglans neotropica Diels) in Bogota and its conservation implications in the urban forest
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Nogal, Juglans neotropica Diels is an endangered woody angiosperm of tropical origin. Several trees of this species have been planted in Bogotá City, Colombia. The field of study is urban tree phenology. The research question of the current work is when do phenological changes occur throughout the year in urban nogal trees in the northern portion of Bogotá, Colombia? The main research objective was to characterize the phenological changes of nogal according to the German (Biologische Bundesanstalt, Bundessortenamt und CHemische Industrie) scale. The study...
The relationship between landscape features and domestic species on the occupancy of native mammals in urban forests
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Landscape features such as roads, hiking trails, and forest edge are prevalent features of urban forests. These features can negatively influence biodiversity through fragmentation and facilitate the penetration of invasive species, particularly predators such as domestic dogs and cats. This study examined how these landscape features affect the distribution of native and domestic mammals and how domestic species affect the occupancy and activity patterns of native mammals. To this end, we conducted camera trap surveys in forested urban and suburban parks in...
Floristic diversity and correlates of naturalization of alien flora in urban green spaces of Srinagar city
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract The sustainable management of green spaces in cities is crucial in achieving the challenging goal of urban sustainability. The common practice of cultivation of alien plants in urban green spaces is often associated with risk of naturalisation (i.e. escape into wild), which can have sometime adverse impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. To mitigate these risks, understanding patterns and processes of naturalisation of alien flora in urban green spaces becomes crucial. Here we report the floristic diversity of alien flora and correlates of its...
Wooded areas promote species richness in urban parks
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Urban green spaces can have an important role in biodiversity conservation. However, they are not often a focus of biodiversity studies, although their global area is raising. We investigated the impact of habitat characteristics of urban green spaces on an ecologically important group of insects—ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). We tested three questions: 1) does ant species richness positively correlate with park size and the extent of wooded areas? 2) Is ground temperature the best predictor of ant activity? 3) Will communities be dominated by thermophilic...
Soil chemical properties in forest patches across multiple spatiotemporal scales in mid-Atlantic U.S. metropolitan areas
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Temperate deciduous forests in the United States are in the most densely populated states across the northern and mid-Atlantic east coast. Land development and associated human activities have resulted in small forests that are susceptible to various anthropogenic influences across multiple spatiotemporal scales. The objective of this study was to assess soil chemistry in forest patches of various sizes embedded within an urban development gradient. We established 36 forest sites along the U.S. east coast in northern Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania, and...
Estimates of energy partitioning, evapotranspiration, and net ecosystem exchange of CO2 for an urban lawn and a tallgrass prairie in the Denver metropolitan area under contrasting conditions
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Lawns as a landcover change substantially alter evapotranspiration, CO2, and energy exchanges and are of rising importance considering their spatial extent. We contrast eddy covariance (EC) flux measurements collected in the Denver, Colorado, USA metropolitan area in 2011 and 2012 over a lawn and a xeric tallgrass prairie. Close linkages between seasonal vegetation development, energy fluxes, and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 were found. Irrigation of the lawn modified energy and CO2 fluxes and greatly contributed to differences observed between sites. Due...
Conservation monitoring of a polluted urban river: an occupancy modeling study of birds in the Yamuna of Delhi
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Given that ecological knowledge of large urban river systems is extremely sparse due to logistics and accessibility an occupancy modeling study was conducted on the resident birds of Delhi. River Yamuna passing through Delhi is a refuge for several resident and migratory species of birds but its water quality has been deteriorating due to ever growing population, contributing most of its pollution load in the urban center. The objectives of this study were 1) to determine whether the occupancy of common waterbirds varied between differential polluted sections...
High diversity of diurnal Lepidoptera associated with landscape heterogeneity in semi-urban areas of Loja City, southern Ecuador
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Urbanization rates are increasing worldwide; therefore, urban and semi-urban ecosystems are the focus of various studies that explore their importance for biodiversity conservation. In the order Lepidoptera high species diversity has been observed in areas with distinct levels of disturbance. In Ecuador, most efforts to study the diversity of butterflies have been concentrated in protected natural areas, whereas studies in semi-urban or urban areas are limited. In this study, we measured the diversity of diurnal Lepidoptera in two semi-urban areas, in southern...
32 years of essential management to retain value of an urban dragonfly awareness pond
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Pond construction in urban areas can mitigate loss of aquatic insects by providing refuges. Urban ponds are also an interface between civil society and aquatic insects, especially via charismatic dragonflies. Ponds have therefore been constructed specifically for dragonfly conservation awareness in many countries. Yet they require regular management, especially when an inflow to a shallow pond supplies inorganic and organic material, leading to vegetation overgrowth and natural infilling, rendering a pond back into a stream, unsuitable for many lentic species...
Caterpillar survival in the city: attack rates on model lepidopteran larvae along an urban-rural gradient show no increase in predation with increasing urban intensity
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Growing native plants in urban gardens is often promoted as a possible means of increasing lepidopteran populations. However, the efficacy of such efforts has not been well studied. Lepidopterans vary widely in their ability to survive in cities, and the few previous studies of caterpillar abundance or biomass across an urban-rural gradient have yielded mixed results. We placed clay caterpillar models in native plant gardens to assess whether the attack rate on these models varied with degree of urbanization (percent impervious surface within 1 km radius of...
Morphological divergence, tail loss, and predation risk in urban lizards
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Urbanisation changes the structure of natural habitats and alters trophic interactions, pressuring urban species to adjust and adapt. Unlike behavioural shifts that tend to be more flexible, morphological characteristics in vertebrates are less plastic and changes may come at a greater cost. We explored the hypothesis that morphological characteristics in a tropical agamid lizard Psammophilus dorsalis are not only selected to suit altered habitat conditions in urbanised areas but reflect predation risk in urban habitats. In addition, we explored differences in...
Exploring the ability of urban householders to correctly identify nocturnal mammals
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract Urban landscapes present substantial opportunities for biodiversity conservation with residential gardens offering some of the greatest potential conservation gains given that they represent a significant proportion of the total greenspace in urbanised landscapes. However, knowledge of wildlife ecology within gardens remains scarce, likely due to the difficulties associated with field ecologists accessing privately owned areas. Citizen-sourced data presents an alternative approach to typical field-based investigations and could be used to develop an extensive...
Seasonal variation in habitat use, daily routines and interactions with humans by urban-dwelling gulls
01. Dezember 2021
Abstract The effects of growing urbanization have caused an increase in human-wildlife interactions in urban areas. Human-gull conflicts have been particularly studied during the breeding season when gulls cause an obvious nuisance in urban areas. However, with many gulls being present in urban areas throughout the year, stakeholders need knowledge of seasonal effects on local human-gull interaction dynamics. Here we present a comprehensive study on spatial and temporal variation of urban habitat use and human interactions with urban gulls, Larus spp., in Porto...