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Urban Ecosystems 

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Sustainable landscaping programs in the United States and their potential to encourage conservation and support ecosystem services
01. Oktober 2022
Abstract Sustainable landscaping programs are voluntary initiatives that recommend a set of practices to improve the environmental quality of urban ecosystems by providing landscaping materials, guidelines, and educational resources. Our goal was to examine the recommendations and outcomes of these programs in the United States and their value for encouraging conservation practices in residential ecosystems. We conducted a comprehensive web search and identified 193 sustainable landscaping programs in the United States. Programs aim to increase native species richness...
Species-specific facilitation shapes primary successional communities under nurse trees in an abandoned slag dump
01. Oktober 2022
Abstract Facilitation by nurse plants shapes community development during primary succession. Human activity—especially in urban settings—has created environments like abandoned lots or post-industrial waste sites in which primary succession occurs. The importance of facilitation in these stressful urban habitats is likely pronounced. There is evidence that facilitative interactions are species-specific and reflect the interactions of different combinations of plant species. We test the hypothesis that colonizing species abundance will differ between focal host tree...
Predictors of tree cover in residential open space: a multi-scale analysis of suburban Philadelphia
01. Oktober 2022
Abstract Tree cover is an important aspect of environmental quality and quality of life, but is declining in many metropolitan regions. This study examines tree cover and its relationship with scale in a type of suburban green space that is common in the United States, residential open space. A variety of urban and residential tree cover studies exist, but none examine the factors that explain the tree cover in these small open spaces, which have the potential to support significant conservation value in developed and developing areas. This study uses remote sensing...
Urban growth and heat islands: A case study in micro-territories for urban sustainability
01. Oktober 2022
Abstract Rapid urbanization contributes to the development of phenomena such as climate variability, especially in tropical countries, which negatively impact ecosystems and humans, factors that influence urban sustainability. Additionally, the increase of building construction prevents the flow of wind streams contributing to the retention of pollutants and hot air masses, causing events such as urban heat islands (UHI). This study aimed to analyze from the micro-territorial level, the influence of urban growth on the UHI phenomenon over the last two decades...
Short-term impacts of urban landscape conversion on surface runoff quality
01. Oktober 2022
Abstract Given the rapid pace of urbanization and resulting pressures on water supplies in many regions, landscape water conservation has become increasingly important for many communities. To achieve this goal, programs incentivizing partial or complete removal of turfgrass lawns have been developed by many municipalities. While prior studies have been published examining effects of urban land change on stormwater runoff, few have addressed how the transition from traditional home lawns to alternative water-efficient landscapes alters runoff water quality. The objective...
Using crushed waste bricks for urban greening with contrasting grassland mixtures: no negative effects of brick-augmented substrates varying in soil type, moisture and acid pre-treatment
01. Oktober 2022
Abstract Ecological restoration aims at supporting biodiversity and ecosystem services, and urban greening is a great opportunity to achieve this goal. This is facilitated by species-rich seed mixtures based on local provenances, which are designed for certain nutrient and moisture regimes based on functional plant traits. Such grassland mixtures might be cultivated on crushed waste bricks, which would be a new component of water-holding urban substrates. Thus, we studied the effects of brick quantity and quality, acid pre-treatment of bricks, soil type and moisture on...
Quantifying potential contributions of green facades to environmental justice: a case study of a quarter in Berlin
01. Oktober 2022
Abstract The potential of green facades (GFs) to enhance environmental justice (EJ) has not been quantified so far. EJ in Berlin, Germany is assessed by the core indicators (1) noise pollution, (2) air pollution, (3) bioclimatic stress, (4) provision of green space and (5) social status. Most of the inner city is rated “poorly” in one or multiple indicators. Based on literature and spatial data, status quo and target values are determined for indicators (1)-(4) for an exemplary, highly burdened quarter in Berlin. It is assessed if and how much GFs could potentially...
Non-native plant species integrate well into plant-pollinator networks in a diverse man-made flowering plant community
01. Oktober 2022
Abstract Urban green areas offer diverse flower resources for pollinators. Yet, the role of non-native plant species in local plant-pollinator networks is understudied. We explored the effects of plant origin, nationwide distribution, flower color and type on flower visitation by wild bees and honey bees as well as the structure of a plant-pollinator network in a botanical garden in Hungary. Honey bee preferred North American plants over Europeans; it had the highest degree and topological centrality value. The network had similar compactness with its simulated removal...
Bacterial communities in peat swamps reflect changes associated with catchment urbanisation
01. Oktober 2022
Abstract Like many peat wetlands around the world, Temperate Highland Peat Swamps on Sandstone (THPSS), located in the Sydney Basin, Australia, have been impacted by urban development. In this paper, we used Illumina 16S rRNA DNA amplicon sequencing to characterise and compare the bacterial communities of surface (top 0–2 cm) and deep (50 cm) sediments in peat swamps that occur in both urbanised and non-urbanised catchments. Proteobacteria (32.2% of reads), Acidobacteria (23.6%) and Chloroflexi (10.7%) were the most common phyla of the dataset. There were...
Seasonal activity patterns of sympatric eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) and fox squirrels (Sciurus niger) in a Midwestern metropolitan region
01. Oktober 2022
Abstract Niche partitioning reduces interspecific competition, facilitating coexistence. In urban ecosystems, however, habitat loss reduces species’ ability to spatially partition activity. Temporal partitioning may thus increase in urban areas as species, unable to avoid each other spatially, partition time to avoid competition. In Midwestern US cities, eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) and fox squirrels (S. niger) co-occur and compete for resources. We identified urban gray and fox squirrel activity patterns and how they vary with season, land cover, and...
Soil microbial community of urban green infrastructures in a polar city
01. Oktober 2022
Abstract Urban and technogenic landscapes in subarctic zones are not considered comfortable habitats for soil microbiota. However, green infrastructures in polar cities can provide a new niche for the development of a microbial soil community. Soil microbial biomass and the diversity of cultivable microfungi have been studied in relation to the chemical and morphological properties of urban soils in the polar city of Apatity. The quantitative indicators based on fluorescence microscopy and PCR real-time methods as well as the qualitative composition of the cultivable...
Hurricane driven changes in vegetation structure and ecosystem services in tropical urban yards: a study case in San Juan, Puerto Rico
01. Oktober 2022
Abstract Urban forests are valuable spaces for species conservation, protection of local biodiversity and provision of ecosystem services. However, they are also vulnerable to the impact of extreme climate events like hurricanes. Understanding how urban forests are responding to hurricane disturbances is crucial to improve their design, management, and resilience. Here we analyzed pre-and post-hurricane vegetation surveys in 52 residential yards in San Juan to assess urban forest responses after Hurricanes Irma and María impacted Puerto Rico in 2017. We used these...
Population models reveal synergistic fitness effects of climate change and urbanization on poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) via disruption of seed dispersal interactions
01. Oktober 2022
Abstract Two of the most important human disturbances on natural ecosystems are urbanization and climate change. While their individual effects are well-documented, how the combined effect of urbanization and climate change can synergistically affect species’ success as well as ecosystem function is less understood. Advancing our understanding of their potential synergistic effects is crucial for mitigating their consequences on biodiversity and ecosystem stability. Here, we developed a stock and flow model to quantify the effects of urbanization and climate change on...
Multiscale drivers of amphibian community occupancy in urban ponds
01. Oktober 2022
Abstract Urbanization has driven the loss of natural aquatic habitats while concurrently increasing the abundance of artificial urban ponds. Urban ponds are not typically designed for wildlife but are often colonized by species of conservation concern, including amphibians. Urban ponds may have conservation value, but it is unclear whether they are equally suitable habitat for all amphibians within a local assemblage and which factors most affect habitat quality. Here, we surveyed 96 ponds in the greater Madison, Wisconsin area from four land-use types: 1) golf course...
Urbanites’ perception of vegetation in landscape-based stormwater management elements (LSM)
01. Oktober 2022
Abstract The popularity and use of green infrastructure measures such as green roofs, green walls, and curb extensions is growing, especially in dense urban areas. At the same time, from an ecosystem services perspective, interest in urban nature and reconciliation ecology is underlined. Attempts to introduce more biodiverse vegetation in cities can conflict with the responses of some urbanites to the appearance of “wild” vegetation. Through semi-structured interviews with 47 randomly picked bypassers in Copenhagen, Denmark, this study explored urbanites...
Effect of urbanization on the dynamics of ecosystem services: An analysis for decision making in Kolkata urban agglomeration
01. Oktober 2022
Abstract Urbanization has profound influence on the changes of land use and land cover, which on the other hand exert significant impact on ecosystem services and their values, especially in the urban agglomerations. Kolkata urban agglomeration of India has been selected to determine the causes in changes of ecosystem services under present and projected land use land cover scenario. Land use land cover maps of 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2020 were prepared by support vector machine method, using LANDSAT satellite imageries and projected up-to 2040 using CA–Markov model...
Public perception of urban wildlife during a COVID-19 stay-at-home quarantine order in Chicago
30. September 2022
Abstract Reduced human activity to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic was accompanied by reports of unusual wildlife sightings in highly developed areas. Such experiences with urban nature may have helped residents cope with the stress of the pandemic and increased public interest in urban wildlife; however, this may depend on the species residents encountered. In this study, we surveyed Chicago, Illinois, USA residents during a stay-at-home order to understand if residents in more affluent or greener neighborhoods saw more wildlife species. We also evaluated...
Differential response of migratory guilds of birds to park area and urbanization
28. September 2022
Abstract Variation in species richness and density of native birds in urban parks and greenspaces (“parks”) is often substantial. Understanding why differences exist, and whether all migratory guilds are equally affected, is poorly known. We surveyed breeding bird communities in 48 undeveloped forested parks in Portland, Oregon, USA, to determine the contributions of park area, shape, connectivity, landscape composition surrounding parks, and differences in structure/composition of local habitat to variation in richness and density of residents, long-distance migrants...
How close can we get? Tolerance to human approximation of invasive doves vs. native doves
28. September 2022
Abstract Human disturbance might be perceived as a threat by animals and interfere in their vital activities. Urbanisation generates changes in habitat structure that allows only a low number of species to adapt, which results in a decrease of species richness and an increase of the abundance of a few dominant species. To survive in urbanised areas, animals need to be highly tolerant to human approximation. One key characteristic of successful invasive species is their high behavioural plasticity. This plasticity could translate to higher chances of surviving in urbanised...
Detecting the tipping point between heat source and sink landscapes to mitigate urban heat island effects
24. September 2022
Abstract The process of rapid urbanization in China has led to various impacts on the urban ecological environment and one of these significant effects is the urban heat island (UHI). Pursuing the construction of a ecological city is recognized as an important direction to relieve the contradictions between environmental protection and city development. Yet how the landcape configuation and composition in such city development influences the UHI has not been well understood. This paper attempted to evaluate the spatial patterning of land surface temperature (LST) and to...