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Recent Scientific Papers

Urban Ecosystems 

Latest Results for Urban Ecosystems
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Designing “Tiny Forests” as a lesson for transdisciplinary urban ecology learning
31. Mai 2023
Abstract The sustainability and livability of urban areas call for the next generation of scientists, practitioners and policy makers to understand the benefits, implementation and management of urban greenspaces. We harnessed the concept of "Tiny Forests©" – a restoration strategy for small wooded areas (~100-400 m2) – to create a transdisciplinary and experiential project for university forestry students that follows an ecology-with-cities framework. We worked with 16 students and a local municipality in the Munich, Germany metropolitan region to survey a...
Spatiotemporal variation in water availability drives insect community dynamics in an urban riparian zone
30. Mai 2023
Abstract Water bodies can mitigate urban heat island effects and allow terrestrial animals to access water during periods of insufficient precipitation. Because precipitation is expected to become increasingly scarce in many global regions, urban riparian areas in drylands may yield important insight into the dynamic role of water in terrestrial animal communities. Here, we first investigated the role of spatiotemporal variability in water availability in insect biomass and biodiversity in an urban riparian area—particularly, whether seasonality modulates the spatial...
Urban landscapes affect wild bee maternal investment and body size
30. Mai 2023
Abstract Urbanization is considered one of the major threats to biodiversity worldwide, with a special concern for native species decline, including wild bees. Through the increase of impervious surfaces, urbanization diminishes, fragments, and warms city environments, significantly reducing nesting and foraging resources for bees. Understanding the response of wildlife to urbanization in terms of reproduction, foraging efficiency, and offspring provisioning is important to species conservation in the face of continued urban development. In this study, we investigated how...
Carnivore coexistence in Chicago: niche partitioning of coyotes and red foxes
29. Mai 2023
Abstract Mesopredators including coyotes (Canis latrans) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) often co-occur in urban environments, but how niche partitioning facilitates their coexistence remains unclear. Highly urbanized areas can be spatial refuges for smaller mesopredators (i.e., spatial human shield effect), however these species also may coexist through temporal niche partitioning. We used camera traps (n = 110 sites) across an urbanization gradient in Chicago to examine coyote-fox interactions from 2011 to 2018. We analyzed spatial partitioning through multi-season...
Urbanization affects web abundance and aggregation of a funnel-weaving spider, Agelenopsis pennsylvanica (Agelenidae)
26. Mai 2023
Abstract Animals distribute themselves within habitats based on a variety of environmental conditions, including those impacted by urbanization. Suspected global declines in urban arthropod biodiversity have required that we examine how urban conditions affect the distribution of this ecologically important group. Throughout North America, funnel-weaving spiders (Agelenidae) are prevalent across urban habitats and actively choose sites to build webs. We compared Agelenopsis pennsylvanica abundance and distribution between two distinct urban habitats: an urban center...
A novel urban vegetation mapping approach for fire risk assessment: A Mediterranean case study
24. Mai 2023
Abstract A series of urban wildfires that engulfed the Mediterranean in recent decades raised the problem of introducing urban vegetation into fire management. While the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) concept includes urban areas in the fire risk analysis exists today, the common approach used in WUI for cities as fire-resistant territories proved to be a failure in practice since wildfire not only penetrates the urban areas but also crosses them by jumping from one green patch to another. Understanding urban areas as flammable demands evaluating the ability to predict...
Urban food forestry transforms fine-scale soil function for rapid and uniform carbon sequestration
23. Mai 2023
Abstract Urbanization displaces agriculture and natural ecosystems, constraining food security and carbon (C) sinks. A proposed solution, Urban Food Forestry (UFF), promises local food from trees that can sequester C faster than other land cover types as long as soil function can sustain increased above and belowground productivity. We compared fine-scale variation in soil physical, chemical and biological properties within and between UFF and traditional lawn for evidence of changes in belowground ecosystem services. Both land covers sequestered C, but UFF did so 834...
Biochar, but not soil microbial additives, increase the resilience of urban plant species to low water availability
23. Mai 2023
Abstract Impervious surfaces that characterise urban areas can make them harsh, water-limited places for plants to grow. To help alleviate plant stress under these challenging drought conditions, a range of soil additives can be utilised. Although well-studied individually, our understanding of the interaction between different soil additives in alleviating drought stress in urban areas is rudimentary. The aim of this study was to (1) assess the growth of urban horticultural plant species under drought stress and (2) determine whether drought stress in these species is...
Green space in an extremely exposed part of the city center “Aorta of Warsaw” - Case study of the urban lawn
23. Mai 2023
Abstract The method of developing city centers is the responsibility of local authorities, which must reconcile the interests of investors applying for valuable land with the utility needs and expectations of residents regarding, inter alia, free squares and green enclaves. This study was conducted in Warsaw (Poland). In the study area, for 20 years there has been a discussion about how the area should be developed. So far, the area is used as lawns. During the monitoring period, 72 plant taxa were found. It is possible to state that an urban lawn is an ecosystem with...
Assessing the impacts of urban beehives on wild bees using individual, community, and population-level metrics
22. Mai 2023
Abstract Several species of wild bees are in decline globally and the presence of managed honey bees is one of many proposed stressors on wild bee populations. However, there is limited knowledge of the impacts of honey bee hives on wild bees, especially in urban landscapes. We performed a field study to assess the associations between honey bees and wild bees within the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario, Canada. We measured relative abundance of honey bees, wild bee metrics (abundance, community composition, functional diversity, and body size), and floral resources...
Distribution of trees in medieval areas of East-Central European cities ‒ regularities and peculiarities
22. Mai 2023
Abstract Trees in the densely built-up historical cores of cities increase the aesthetic values of the cityscape as well as lower the effect of the urban heat island. The research aimed to determine the spatial distribution of tree populations in the medieval parts of cities. The investigation included three cities in Central and Eastern Europe: Poznań and Lublin in Poland and Lviv in Ukraine. The oldest parts of these cities share similar origins, the same continental biogeographical region, and comparable climatic conditions. This study considered indicators of...
Combinations of plant species with complementary traits have the potential to maximize ecosystem services on green roofs
22. Mai 2023
Abstract Ecosystem services are critical in urban areas, where the majority of humanity now lives. In many cities, extensive green roofs are planted with succulent nonnative Sedum species that provide rapid vegetative cover, retain stormwater, insulate buildings, and provide cooling through evapotranspiration. If diverse native plant species were used on green roofs in addition to Sedum, green roofs could also support greater biodiversity. Ecosystem services provided by Sedum are documented within temperate climates but the contributions of native forbs are relatively...
Morphological characteristics and water harvesting function of six urban shrub species: implications on sustainable greenspaces in a semi-humid region
18. Mai 2023
Abstract Urban shrubs are more likely to form a funnel-shaped water harvesting system and play a critical role for sustainable greenspaces in semi-humid region. To identify the main influencing factors of water harvesting function and select suitable urban shrubs for potential soil water storage, this study simulated rainfall to investigate the water harvesting function of six shrub species: Ligustrum × vicaryi, Euonymus japonicus, Buxus sinica var. parvifolia, Photinia × fraseri, Juniperus chinensis and Platycladus orientalis. The results can be summarized as follows...
A mowing strategy for urban parks to support spring flowers in a mediterranean climate city in South Africa
17. Mai 2023
Abstract Converting road verges and Public Open Space (POS) to floral-rich resources is an important strategy for supporting populations of urban pollinators. One of the ways this can be achieved is through adjusting mowing schedules, either with a “delayed start” after the end of winter, or a reduction in mowing frequency. In Mediterranean climate ecosystems with mild, wet winters, plant growth continues through the winter season and the definition of a “delayed start” is unclear. This study sought to identify a strategic period for the suspension of mowing...
Stream restoration milestones: monitoring scales determine successes and failures
15. Mai 2023
Abstract Urban stream restoration is growing globally, but there is much to learn from successes, failures, and evaluating tradeoffs in restoration practices. Significant time and resources have been invested towards restoring the structure and function of urban ecosystems and understanding and slowing the drivers of degradation. However, the rapid pace of urbanization and its effects on urban waters present an ever-growing challenge to environmental managers and restoration practitioners when identifying and prioritizing effective strategies for restoration and...
Correction to: Home ranges of box turtles in a rural woodland and an urban park in Saint Louis, MO; implications for turtle conservation
13. Mai 2023
Impacts of seasonality and urbanization on groundcover community: a case study on the soil slopes of Hong Kong
13. Mai 2023
Abstract Dramatic urbanization in the subtropical city of Hong Kong leads to enormous numbers of soil slopes. In addition to supporting infrastructure, soil slopes also allow revegetation work to enhance the ecological value of urban landscapes. However, groundcovers that exhibit much wider uses in slope revegetation, are often ignored. Our study mainly focused on the seasonal variation in groundcover on soil slopes and the association with slope performance and the degree of urbanization. The groundcovers in terms of plant cover, diversity and community composition on...
Floral richness and seasonality influences bee and non-bee flower interactions in urban community gardens
09. Mai 2023
Abstract Pollinating insects are essential for food production. Both bee and non-bee pollinators are undergoing dramatic declines due to land use intensification and its consequences on native ecosystems. While interactions between crops and bee pollinators are well studied, our understanding of the pollination service provided by non-bee flower visitors including flies, ants, beetles and others is still limited. Moreover, the effects of landscape urbanization and changes in floral and nesting resource availability on the network structure of pollinators with both...
Patterns of mistletoe infestation in neotropical urban areas
08. Mai 2023
Abstract Mistletoes occur in tropical and temperate ecosystems all over the world. In urban areas mistletoes can become weedy and affect the health of cultivated trees. In this study we sought to detect patterns of infestation at tree, species, and community level, in order to support improvements in urban tree planting policies. Field studies were performed in Fortaleza, CE, Brazil. The trees and their mistletoes were surveyed in four green areas to examine the relationship between the severity of the infestation and tree attributes (trunk diameter, nativeness, and...
Association between socioeconomic status and woody plant diversity in neighborhood parks
08. Mai 2023
Abstract Parks play an important role in sustaining the urban ecosystem owing to their plant diversity. Therefore, identification of plant composition in parks has contributed to better their planning and management. In this study, woody plant species in a total of 53 parks of the selected 15 neighborhoods in Burdur were explored, plant diversity indexes were calculated and correlations of the attributes of plants and parks with the socioeconomic status of the neighborhoods were analyzed. A total of 36 family, 85 genus and 127 species were recorded. Neighborhood parks had...