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Urban Ecosystems 

Latest Results for Urban Ecosystems
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“Responsiveness of mature oak trees ( Quercus robur L.) to soil water dynamics and meteorological constraints in urban environments”
07. November 2019
Abstract Urban trees contribute to the regulation of microclimates of cities through transpirational cooling. The main environmental factors determining transpiration are evaporative demand and soil water availability. However, growth conditions in urban areas are often unfavorable and may promote drought stress. The responses of trees to these conditions may vary between species and age classes, and in addition, can be modified by their environment. For a better understanding of water use patterns of urban tree species, these responses were investigated as a function of...
Response of wild bee communities to beekeeping, urbanization, and flower availability
07. November 2019
Abstract Wild bees provide pollination services and are currently declining at the global scale. A potential cause for this decline is competitive interactions with domestic honey bees. Urban beekeeping, a fairly new activity, is rapidly gaining popularity. In contrast with agricultural and natural areas, the extent of competition between honey bees and wild bees in urban areas is unclear. The objectives of this study were to quantify the impact of honey bees, urbanization, and the availability of floral resources on wild bee communities. We hypothesized that honey bees...
Soil organic carbon stock in different urban land uses: high stock evidence in urban parks
31. Oktober 2019
Abstract Urban areas are major producers of atmospheric CO2 emissions, but at the same time they can offset some of the associated C losses by retaining stable organic carbon in their soils (SOC). Despite the importance of urban SOC there are still many uncertainties associated, resulting in low accuracy of SOC stock estimations or in its neglection in the regional and national carbon budgets. We focused on one of the most extended urban areas of Italy (Milan) estimating SOC stock in the topsoil and comparing it for different urban land uses (park/non-park) and covers...
Effect of noise on behavioural response to simulated territorial intrusion in the Great Kiskadee ( Pitangus sulphuratus ) (Aves: Tyrannidae)
22. Oktober 2019
Abstract The urban environment can act as an ecological filter and impose several negative impacts on bird behaviour. Although some species are well adapted to anthropic habitats, others are sensitive to the effects of human disturbance. Here, we addressed whether noise pollution affects the territorial behaviour of the Great Kiskadee, Pitangus sulphuratus. Here we conducted a field experiment on territorial individuals in urban and rural areas. We presented a model decoy along with the playback of the species’ song at 10 m from the focal individual to simulate a...
Floral abundance and richness drive beneficial arthropod conservation and biological control on golf courses
19. Oktober 2019
Abstract Golf courses are among the largest, most ubiquitous highly maintained urban green spaces in the U.S. Although their primary function is recreation, a large portion of golf course land is not actively in use, which presents opportunities to create more ecologically functional areas. Golf courses around the world are converting these out-of-play areas to alternative habitats, but few do so using evidence that maximizes their benefit. Previous studies have investigated effects of conservation plantings on golf courses, but none have isolated the biological control...
Indiana bat roosting behavior differs between urban and rural landscapes
08. Oktober 2019
Abstract Urbanization may negatively affect forest obligate bat species. We compared the roosting behavior of federally endangered Indiana bats (Myotis sodalis) in a fragmented site, located on the leading edge of a developing urban area (Indianapolis, IN), with a site of relatively contiguous forest cover in Indiana, USA, during the summers of 2013–2015. Bats in both sites used large standing dead trees and bat boxes with low levels of overhead canopy closure (fragmented site: 26.1 ± 11.0%, contiguous site: 20.1 ± 7.3%) as primary roosts (large groups of bats...
A relationship between emotional connection to nature and attitudes about urban forest management
08. Oktober 2019
Abstract This paper presents research conducted in Oregon, USA that explored the relationship between an emotional connection to nature and attitudes about urban forest management. We asked about study participants’ attitudes concerning threats to urban forests and problems created by urban forests and green spaces. Results from our regression analysis indicate that emotional connection to nature is generally negatively related to attitudes about problems created by urban forests, and positively related to attitudes about threats to urban forests. Implications for...
Carabidae assemblages in pine forests with different recreation regimes within and outside a megalopolis
04. Oktober 2019
Abstract The expansion of cities highlights the need for studies of the biodiversity on urban territories and factors affecting the structure and functioning of communities. In 2010–2011, we compared the abundance and diversity of carabid beetles in pine forests of natural origin within the Russian megalopolis Yekaterinburg and outside. To estimate the effects of recreation (R+: trampling, soil compaction, eutrophication) and other urbanization factors (U+: pollution, habitat fragmentation, adventive species), we selected 12 urban and non-urban forest sites with...
Rewilding in the Garden: are garden hybrid plants (cultivars) less resilient to the effects of hydrological extremes than their parent species? A case study with Primula
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract Urban green infrastructure, such as gardens, can mitigate some of the consequences of climate change, e.g. reducing flash-flooding or urban heat islands. Green infrastructure, however, may itself be vulnerable to a changing climate, and not all garden and landscape plant taxa will remain viable under weather scenarios predicted for the future. It has been suggested that cultivated forms of garden plants (hybrids and selected varieties) particularly, will be susceptible to enhanced stress associated with more frequent flooding, drought and rapid oscillations...
Biodiversity conservation in urban parks: a study of ground-dwelling ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Rio de Janeiro City
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract Urban green recreational spaces may provide habitat for animals and plants. We investigated the importance of urban public parks in the city of Rio de Janeiro with regard to the conservation of ant species by comparing both the structure of the ground-dwelling ant community between urban parks and continuous forests and the influence of environmental factors on possible differences. Fifteen urban areas were sampled (5 isolated parks, 5 non-isolated parks and 5 forest areas). Ants were sampled at sardine bait stations and through manual/visual searching in...
Conservation and enhancement of the green infrastructure as a nature-based solution for Rome’s sustainable development
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract Three quarters of the European population live in urban areas, which is expected to increase to over 80% by 2050. The well-being of urban citizens appears to be closely linked to the correlation between the growth of urban areas and to the availability of green spaces. The conservation and the enhancement of the Green Infrastructure (GI) can be considered a Nature-Based Solution (NBS) to improve the sustainability of urban development. From this perspective, it is important to identify priority areas close to existing GIs suitable to be preserved from further...
Evaluating the potential contribution of urban ecosystem service to climate change mitigation
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract Promoting urban greenery through tree planting strategies has been considered as a measure to mitigate climate change. While it is essential to understand the temporal dynamics of urban forest structure as well as its services and contribution to human wellbeing in cities, it has hardly ever been examined whether the future contributions of these services after different possible planting strategies can comply with climate change policy goals; these are topics rarely discussed in urban planning and management. In this paper, the ecosystem services currently...
Effects of demography and urbanization on stress and body condition in urban white-tailed deer
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are becoming increasingly common in urban environments. How they respond to potential changes (i.e. increased human interactions, traffic, overabundance) can influence herd health. We aimed to develop a technique that quantifies stress in deer using hair cortisol concentrations (HCC). Our objectives were to test for: 1) a relationship between HCC and deer body condition score (BCS); 2) effects of sex, age, and location on HCC; and 3) effects of herd density and urbanization on HCC. Using the HCC of 59 culled deer from...
Differences in fish harvest, fishing effort, and angling guard activities between urban and natural fishing grounds
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract Recreational fishing is a very popular outdoor leisure activity. Assessing differences in basic metrics in recreational fishing on different types of fishing grounds is very important for effective fisheries management. This study aimed to discover how basic metrics in recreational fishing (harvest, fishing effort, angling guard activities) differ between urban fishing grounds (located in a densely populated city) and natural fishing grounds (located in the countryside). Data were obtained from individual angling logbooks collected by the Czech Fishing Union on...
Increase in non-native species richness leads to biotic homogenization in vacant lots of a highly urbanized landscape
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract Vacant lots, unused lands covered by spontaneous vegetation, are widespread in urban landscapes. Although they are of less conservation value than natural ecosystems, they can provide important ecological services, such as maintaining air quality and mental health, and offering recreational space. Nevertheless, the effects of urbanization on the plant species richness and beta diversity of such lots remain poorly understood. We evaluated how plant species richness and beta diversity differ in vacant herbaceous lots 1) between two urban areas (Montréal and...
High tick abundance and diversity of tick-borne pathogens in a Finnish city
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract The sheep tick Ixodes ricinus is the primary vector for various zoonotic diseases, including Lyme borreliosis and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), in Europe. Because both abundance of ticks and prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in these organisms have increased in many locations and under different environments, we designed a study to survey the occurrence of ticks and pathogens in an urban area, namely, the city of Turku, in SW Finland. In summer 2017, we collected >700 ticks, primarily from city parks, suburban forest patches, and recreational areas...
Urbanization decreases the extent and variety of leaf herbivory for native canopy tree species Quercus rubra , Quercus alba , and Acer saccharum
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract The extent to which urban trees can support associated biodiversity and provide ecosystem services depends on how urbanization affects the relationship between plants and the herbivorous arthropods that feed on them. Previous studies suggest that urbanization tends to increase the abundance, but decrease the diversity of herbivorous arthropods, but also reveal that this pattern may be an artifact of a narrow focus on pests and ornamental plants. We aimed to assess the effect of urbanization on whole leaf herbivore communities of three native canopy trees, red...
A tale of two cities, with bears: understanding attitudes towards urban bears in British Columbia, Canada
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract The management of black bears (Ursus americanus) in urban and/or exurban settings is of growing concern as these mammals, along with coyotes, cougars and others, begin to re-colonize areas from which they had been extirpated. Urban and exurban landscapes can offer much needed habitat to these space-demanding creatures, thereby buffering habitat losses in other areas and protecting populations of these species, but only if conflicts between these animals and humans can be managed and minimized. In the case of urban black bears, they can become quickly labled as...
Both semi-natural and ruderal habitats matter for supporting insect functional diversity in an abandoned quarry in the city of Kraków (S Poland)
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract Urban areas are beginning to be recognized as having potential for biodiversity conservation because of the relatively high richness of some taxa. However, little is known about what functional groups of organisms constitute this richness. We investigated biodiversity patterns in an abandoned quarry using the Rapid Biodiversity Assessment method based on insect groups according to their trophic guilds. We assessed the value of semi-natural and ruderal habitats. The ruderal sites were characterized by a higher diversity and abundance of phytophagous beetles and...
Can urban greening increase vector abundance in cities? The impact of mowing, local vegetation, and landscape composition on adult mosquito populations
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract Worldwide, cities are investing in greenspace to enhance urban quality of life and conserve biodiversity. Cities should ensure these investments do not unintentionally result in ecosystem disservices. Municipal management decisions regarding urban greenspaces, such as mowing frequency, could influence mosquito communities and public health. We examined how mowing, resultant vegetation characteristics, and landscape context influenced adult mosquito abundance in urban vacant lots. We sampled adult Culex and Aedes mosquitoes in a network of vacant lots within...