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Urban Ecosystems 

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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...
Disentangling an avian assemblages’ evolutionary and functional history in a Chihuahuan desert city
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract Urban green spaces have been shown to be important hotspots of biodiversity in cities of temperate and humid/semihumid tropical ecoregions. Nonetheless, whether this pattern applies to urban ecosystems of desert environments has been rarely studied. Temperature, precipitation, vegetation complexity, human density, and presence of invasive species could act as urban filters limiting the incidence of desert-adapted species into cities. Such effects could be reshaping biotic communities, favoring habitat generalist species in human-dominated environments. In this...
The effects of landscape scale on greenery and traffic relationships with urban birds and butterflies
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract Actions and policies to enhance biodiversity in the urban landscape must match the spatial scale at which biodiversity responds to the management and target variables. To this end, we compare the importance and effect of different kinds of greenery cover and road-lane density on bird and butterfly species richness between two landscape scales: 50-m versus 126-m radii around point counts (equivalent to areas of 0.8 h and 5 ha, respectively). We also compared the results against those of an earlier study using 500-m walking transects with widths of 100 m (i.e...
Fungal community composition analysis of 24 different urban parks in Shanghai, China
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract Urban parks are an important constituent of cities; they harbour microbial diversity which plays a key role in soil ecosystem functioning. The bacterial diversity of many urban parks around the world has been reported; however, the role of fungi is often ignored. There are only one or two published reports of fungal community composition analysis from urban parks. In the present study, we investigated soil fungal diversity in 24 urban parks in Shanghai using Illumina MiSeq sequencing. At the taxonomic level, 540,657 effective fungal sequences were acquired from...
On the lookout for danger: House Sparrow alert distance in three cities
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract The House Sparrow Passer domesticus, closely associated with human presence along urban–agricultural landscapes and widely distributed outside its native range, has shown great morphological and physiological variations, with its plasticity linked to its invasiveness. Yet, there is a dearth of knowledge on the escape behavior of this sparrow along its North American invasion range. We here assessed House Sparrows alert distances in Los Angeles and Mexico City, but also in Barcelona as a control within its native distribution, considering ‘city...
A small-scale response of urban bat activity to tree cover
01. Oktober 2019
Abstract Bats in urban areas depend on trees, and bat activity increases with tree cover. To effectively manage bat habitat in cities, it is important to know the distance to which tree cover most strongly influences bats (i.e., the ‘scale of effect’). The aim of this study was to estimate the scale of effect of tree cover on bats in Toronto, Canada. To achieve this, we measured bat activity at 52 sampling sites across the city. We then examined the relationships between bat activity and percent tree cover measured within each of 19 scales, 0.025 to 3.5 km in...
Effects of temperature and habitat complexity on an urban tree pest ( Tinocallis kahawaluokalani ), natural enemies, and predation services in the city
12. September 2019
Abstract Trees provide many ecosystem services in our urban environments. However, city trees are often stressed by pests and hot urban temperatures. Our research highlights how temperature affects a common tree pest, crape myrtle aphid (Tinocallis kahawaluokalani), natural enemies, and egg predation services on crape myrtles in the city. This research addresses an area of study that has largely been unexplored, effects of temperature on urban natural enemies, and it sheds light on how hot urban temperatures affect one species of piercing-sucking herbivore, a guild that...
Concrete lined urban streams and macroinvertebrates: a Hong Kong case study
31. August 2019
Abstract In this study an urban stream network with earthen and concreted sections were studied for different seasons (wet and dry) to investigate the macroinvertebrate composition and the governing factors. The factors considered were water quality (nitrogen species, soluble reactive phosphorus etc.) and stream eco-hydraulics (velocity, wetted depth and width, vegetative indicators, number of mesoscale physical habitats, etc.). In contrast to common perception, results showed that concrete lined sites are not ecologically dead. Even though low, concrete line section had...
Palm snags are a critical nesting resource for woodpeckers in an urbanized tropical region
30. August 2019
Abstract Critical resources for birds nesting in cities can support populations in spite of the challenges imposed by urbanization, and the identification of such resources can shed light on how species are able to adapt to novel environments. In the case of woodpeckers, these resources also support the conservation of secondary cavity-nesters. Woodpecker nesting has been well-studied in temperate regions, including within urban areas, but in subtropical and tropical regions, less is known. Here we ask what types of trees and what habitats woodpeckers use most, and which...