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Urban Ecosystems 

Latest Results for Urban Ecosystems
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Urbanization homogenizes the interactions of plant-frugivore bird networks
28. Januar 2020
Abstract Anthropogenic activities are the main cause of habitat loss and fragmentation, which directly affects biodiversity. Disruption in landscape connectivity among populations may affect complex interactions between species and ecosystem functions, such as pollination and seed dispersal, and ultimately result in secondary extinctions. Urbanization, one of the most intense forms of landscapes changes, has been reported to negatively affect bird and plant diversity. Still, little is known about the effects of urban landscapes on interaction networks. We investigated the...
The effects of traffic noise on tadpole behavior and development
28. Januar 2020
Abstract Traffic noise is known to negatively affect many wildlife species by interfering with foraging behavior. Frogs often lay their eggs in roadside ditches because they are predator-free, but it is possible that traffic noise could reduce the survival and fitness of tadpoles, creating an ecological trap. In a series of lab experiments, we tested whether traffic noise has a negative impact on tadpole feeding behavior, whether this is mediated by changes in tadpole activity, and whether there is any impact on tadpole growth rate or metamorphosis. Traffic noise exposure...
The University of West Florida campus ecosystem study: gopher tortoise and longleaf pine populations in an urban interface
27. Januar 2020
Abstract College/university campuses comprise a distinct type of urban interface, with their generally expansive spatial pattern of alternating permanent structures, parking lots, and green spaces. The campus of the University of West Florida (UWF) in Pensacola, Florida, was constructed among second-growth longleaf pine stands recovering from extensive logging in the western-most extent of the Panhandle, with the original campus design deliberately carried out to maintain original contours and minimize tree removal. The extended campus includes a fire-excluded...
Where the wild things are! Do urban green spaces with greater avian biodiversity promote more positive emotions in humans?
22. Januar 2020
Abstract Urban green space can help mitigate the negative impacts of urban living and provide positive effects on citizens’ mood, health and well-being. Questions remain, however, as to whether all types of green space are equally beneficial, and if not, what landscape forms or key features optimise the desired benefits. For example, it has been cited that urban landscapes rich in wildlife (high biodiversity) may promote more positive emotions and enhance well-being. This research utilised a mobile phone App, employed to assess people’s emotions when they entered any...
Urban channel incision and stream flow subsidies have contrasting effects on the water status of riparian trees
20. Januar 2020
Abstract The water relations of riparian trees are often closely tied to stream hydrology and channel morphology, which can be altered by urban development. In regions with limited precipitation, urban water use can generate or augment dry-season stream flows, potentially providing a water subsidy to riparian trees. However, urbanization is also associated with high storm flows that cause stream channel incision, or downcutting, which could limit the effect of flow subsidies by lowering riparian water tables. We investigated the effects of urban dry-season flow subsidies...
Mapping heat and traffic stress of urban park vegetation based on satellite imagery - A comparison of Bucharest, Romania and Leipzig, Germany
02. Januar 2020
Abstract Large and comparatively compact European cities such as Bucharest and Leipzig struggle with considerable urban heat island (UHI) effects characterized by heat and drought together with high concentrations of air pollutants (NO2, SO2, O3, CO2). However, a healthy urban green infrastructure is necessary to reduce the impacts of UHI on human health. Therefore, continuous monitoring schemes are required for green infrastructure in order to improve human life in such cities. Satellite remote sensing can provide the means for monitoring urban vegetation status. In this...
Home gardening practice in Pune (India), the role of communities, urban environment and the contribution to urban sustainability
02. Januar 2020
Abstract Urban agriculture (UA) is regarded as an emerging tool and strategy for sustainable urban development as it addresses a wide array of environmental, economic and social objectives. Home gardening represents a common form of UA in the close living environments of urban dwellers that can be particularly important for rapidly growing cities and metropolitan regions in developing and transitional countries. However, a structured conceptual analysis of different urban sustainability benefits, including its operationalisation, is lacking. We therefore investigated...
Design catalogue for eco-engineering of coastal artificial structures: a multifunctional approach for stakeholders and end-users
28. Dezember 2019
Abstract Coastal urbanisation, energy extraction, food production, shipping and transportation have led to the global proliferation of artificial structures within the coastal and marine environments (sensu “ocean sprawl”), with subsequent loss of natural habitats and biodiversity. To mitigate and compensate impacts of ocean sprawl, the practice of eco-engineering of artificial structures has been developed over the past decade. Eco-engineering aims to create sustainable ecosystems that integrate human society with the natural environment for the benefit of both. The...
Minimal stories in Southeast Buenos Aires grasslands: carabid beetle biodiversity throughout an urban-rural gradient
19. Dezember 2019
Abstract Urbanization modifies the original habitat and the biodiversity. Research throughout urban-rural gradients allows the monitoring of human activities on the biodiversity of native environments. Our aims were to a) record the diversity of edaphic coleopteran families and carabid species in native grassland remnants of urban, suburban and rural areas; b) identify potential taxa exclusively associated with urban and rural sites, respectively, or indifferent to such categorization; and c) compare the body sizes, wing morphology and trophic groups of carabid beetles in...
If you plant it, they will come: quantifying attractiveness of exotic plants for winter-active flower visitors in community gardens
13. Dezember 2019
Abstract Urban community gardens are potentially important sites for urban pollinator conservation because of their high density, diversity of flowering plants, and low pesticide use (relative to agricultural spaces). Selective planting of attractive crop plants is a simple and cost-effective strategy for attracting flower visitors to urban green spaces, however, there is limited empirical data about which plants are most attractive. Here, we identified key plant species that were important for supporting flower visitors using a network-based approach that combined metrics...
Genetic diversity and relatedness of a recently established population of eastern coyotes ( Canis latrans ) in New York City
11. Dezember 2019
Abstract Little is known about the relatedness structure of carnivores living in urban areas, where green spaces may vary in size and resource availability. We examined the minimum population size, relatedness structure, and genetic diversity of a recently established population of eastern coyotes (Canis latrans) inhabiting New York City (NYC). The population has been established for approximately 25 years, and sample collection for genetic analysis has been ongoing since 2010. We genotyped 234 scat, eight tissue, and three blood samples at nine microsatellite loci. We...
Multidimensional analysis of temporal and layered microclimatic behavior of subtropical climber green walls in summer
10. Dezember 2019
Abstract Existing studies emphasizing the magnitude of green-wall thermal benefits paid little attention to temporal microclimatic behavior. To bridge the knowledge gap, we employed high-precision sensors to monitor the microclimate of two wirerope-type climber green walls and adjacent control bare walls in humid-subtropical Hong Kong. Sample days were systematically selected to represent the results on sunny, cloudy and rainy weather in summer. This study aimed at: (1) evaluating the magnitude and daily temporal occurrence of maximum temperature, cooling and insolation...
Do small cities affect bird assemblages? An evaluation from Patagonia
07. Dezember 2019
Abstract Most studies about the impact of urbanization on bird assemblages are from the Northern Hemisphere and most previous research has reported that cities reduced bird species richness and favored the settlement of exotic bird species. However, most of these studies took place in large cities and few of them were focused on riparian environments. The aim of our study was to investigate how richness and abundance of riparian birds change along the urban-rural gradient of Esquel, a small city in Patagonia. We established two rural riparian sites upstream, two urban...
Oak, Quercus chenii , dispersal in fragmented urban forests: acorn horizontal and vertical dispersal, seedling establishment and growth
06. Dezember 2019
Abstract Habitat fragmentation results in the loss of seed dispersers and subsequently leads to low regeneration and functional decline of forests. However, very few studies on disperser decline and seedling regeneration have been conducted in urban forest systems. In three isolated forest patches in Wuhan, central China, acorn dispersers, acorn dispersal, acorn deposition patterns in soil seed banks and seedling recruitment of the dominant animal-dispersed tree species (Quercus chenii) were investigated over four consecutive years (2014 to 2017). The hypothesis tested...
Size does matter: Passive sampling in urban parks of a regional bat assemblage
05. Dezember 2019
Abstract We studied the occurrence of bats in urban parks in the city of Madrid (Spain), and the resulting patterns were compared with bat occurrence in the surrounding region. In this way, we addressed if the presence of individual species in the study parks was positively related to their regional occurrence and the way some geographical and environmental traits affected bat richness and composition in urban parks. We analysed urban parks varying in area, structure and distance to the edge of the town. During two years, bats occurring in parks were sampled using...
City dwelling wild bees: how communal gardens promote species richness
03. Dezember 2019
Abstract Urban areas consist of wide expanses of impervious surfaces which are known to negatively affect insect biodiversity in general, but green spaces within cities have the potential to provide necessary habitat and foraging resources. Although, communal gardens were primarily intended to provide fresh, regional food to denizens, these green islands also host a surprisingly high number of wild bee species. The gardens were characterized based on structural elements such as flower frequency, the relative percentage of lawn, trees, shrubs, planted...
Cemeteries and biodiversity conservation in cities: how do landscape and patch-level attributes influence bird diversity in urban park cemeteries?
01. Dezember 2019
Abstract Cemeteries can help conserve biodiversity in urban landscapes, but their capacity to support native species is likely to be influenced by variables at different spatial scales. There is growing evidence on how landscape and patch-level attributes influence biodiversity in urban parks. However, there is limited evidence about cemeteries. Park cemeteries are dominated by vegetation because they are managed to simulate traditional parks, and thus, could contribute to the conservation of native fauna in cities. We present the first study on how patch variables...
Win–win urban ecology: near-home fishing promotes diversity of Odonata
01. Dezember 2019
Abstract It is generally thought that increased human activity or infrastructure automatically translates to decreased wildlife activity or abundance. We surveyed dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata) at fourteen urban parks with water features to determine factors that promote or hinder species richness or overall abundance. We constructed basic decision trees with either richness or abundance as a response variable and a suite of park characteristics (e.g., size, footprint of the water feature(s), habitat heterogeneity, presence and extent of infrastructure) as...
Caterpillar phenology predicts differences in timing of mountain chickadee breeding in urban and rural habitats
01. Dezember 2019
Abstract To ensure the survival of their offspring, birds need to precisely time their reproduction: when offspring have the highest demand for food, food resources should be most abundant. In temperate environments, caterpillars are often a key food source for nestlings, so many insectivorous bird species time their reproduction to correspond to the peak abundance of caterpillars in their habitat. Mountain chickadees (Poecile gambeli) are small songbirds that naturally inhabit coniferous forests, but are also found in urban areas. Reproductive timing of these birds may...
Downsizing for downtown: limb lengths, toe lengths, and scale counts decrease with urbanization in western fence lizards ( Sceloporus occidentalis )
01. Dezember 2019
Abstract Urbanization-induced habitat loss and alteration causes significant challenges for the survival of many species. Identifying how species respond to urbanization can yield insights for the conservation of wildlife, but research on reptiles has been narrowly-focused. We compared morphology among four populations of western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) to determine whether a common native species affected by urbanization exhibits morphological differences consistent with habitat use. We quantified habitat differences across four sites in Los Angeles...