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Urban Ecosystems 

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Correction to: The contribution of urban community gardens to food availability in Emfuleni Local Municipality, Gauteng Province
01. August 2021
The original version of the article unfortunately contained mistakes in the affiliations. The correct affiliations are presented in this Erratum.
Correction to: Influence of environmental factors on bird diversity in greenspaces in an Amazonian city
01. August 2021
The original version of this article unfortunately contained errors.
Correction to: Planning for active management of future invasive pests affecting urban forests: the ecological and economic effects of varying Dutch elm disease management practices for street trees...
01. August 2021
In Table 4, the column headings that explain the table data was not included in the published version
Microclimate in an urban park and its influencing factors: a case study of Tiantan Park in Beijing, China
01. August 2021
Abstract Construction of urban green spaces may effectively mitigate urban heat island effect. Better design of green spaces may improve their thermal performance, and therefore provide better ecosystem services in cities. Aiming at providing empirical evidence and further insights for urban park design, field measurement of air temperature (Ta) and relative humidity (Rh) was conducted in Tiantan Park in Beijing, China. Results show that within Tiantan park, 1.29–2.71 °C air temperature difference and 1.27–5.16% relative humidity difference were observed at...
Vacant lot soil degradation and mowing frequency shape communities of belowground invertebrates and urban spontaneous vegetation
01. August 2021
Abstract Vacant land in legacy cities is increasingly recognized as a resource to support biodiversity and improve the quality of life for residents. However, the capacity for vacant lot parcels to provide these benefits is influenced by current management practices and landscape legacies of urbanization, which typically results in degraded soil quality. The role of soil quality in supporting urban biodiversity and ecosystem functions is often overlooked when developing sustainable urban planning initiatives. This study investigated how soil physical and chemical...
Comparisons of flux-based stemflow enrichment ratios for two Quercus spp. within the megalopolis of the eastern USA
01. August 2021
Abstract Throughfall and stemflow serve as two important transport mechanisms for water and solutes in urban forests, though these fluxes are seldom quantified within cities. This study is the first to utilize two flux-based enrichment ratios for stemflow to characterize spatial patterns in water and solute distribution in urban forest fragments. Using event-based, in situ sampling, this study quantified stemflow enrichment for Quercus rubra (northern red oak) and Quercus alba (white oak) trees relative to open precipitation (EP,B) and throughfall (ET,B) per unit trunk...
Urbanization does not affect green space bird species richness in a mid-sized city
01. August 2021
Abstract Urbanization is one of the most intensive forms of landscape and habitat transformation, resulting in species loss, and taxonomic and functional homogenization of different communities. Whilst green infrastructure (the network of natural and semi-natural areas in cities) has been studied extensively in terms of specific features that promote biodiversity, there have been no studies that have assessed how species richness in different types of green space (GS) varies with increasing levels of urbanization in the surrounding matrix. We studied the effects of...
Determining daytime resting site habitats of exurban feral cats
01. August 2021
Abstract Predicting daytime resting sites (DRS) in feral cat (Felis catus) populations provides a means for further understanding what habitat characteristics are used by the species, which in turn may help in managing their populations. Between May – August 2013, we identified 319 summer DRSs used by 24 radiocollared feral cats in Russellville, Arkansas. Our goal was to characterize summer DRS use by feral cats via microhabitat and macrohabitat analysis in an exurban city. We identified DRSs by homing in on individuals between 1000 and 1600 h and sampled the habitat...
Urban open spaces from a dispersal perspective: lessons from an individual-based model approach to assess the effects of landscape patterns on the viability of wildlife populations
01. August 2021
Abstract Green areas drawn on a city plan represent open spaces that have different meanings for humans and wildlife. Diverse kinds of green may influence species viability in urban environments. It is necessary to understand what those areas mean for wildlife populations and how land-use changes affect habitats and movements for making scientifically defensible planning and design decisions. My objective was to demonstrate how open space and urban development patterns affect the viability of wildlife populations in urbanizing landscapes from a movements perspective...
Conceptualizing social-ecological drivers of change in urban forest patches
01. August 2021
Abstract We introduce a conceptual model of the urban forest patch as a complex social-ecological system, incorporating cross-scale interactions. We developed this model through an interdisciplinary process engaging social and ecological scientists and urban land management decision makers, with a focus on temperate forest social-ecological systems. In this paper, we place the production and management of urban forest patches in historical perspective, present a conceptual model of urban forest patches within a broader regional context, and identify a series of research...
Influence of urbanization on the avian species-area relationship: insights from the breeding birds of Rome
01. August 2021
Abstract The species-area relationship (SAR) is one of the most investigated patterns in ecology and conservation biology, yet there is no study testing how different levels of urbanization influence its shape. Here we tested the impact of urbanization on avian SARs along a rural-urban gradient using the breeding birds of Rome (Central Italy). We divided the city into 360 cells of 1 km2. Each cell was classified as rural, suburban or urban using the proportion of impervious surface calculated from remote sensing data. For each of these three landscape categories, we...
Shrinking into the big city: influence of genetic and environmental factors on urban dragon lizard morphology and performance capacity
01. August 2021
Abstract Urban wildlife faces a novel set of challenges resulting in selective pressure that can lead to population-level changes. We studied Australian water dragons (Intellagama lesueurii) from urban and natural populations to test if urban populations differed in body size, shape, and performance capacity. If urban-derived morphology has arisen through selection, we predicted distinct morphological differences between wild dragons from urban and natural areas in both adult and hatchling life-stages. Urban hatchlings were morphologically distinct (shorter body lengths...
A sustainable urban regeneration project to protect biodiversity
01. August 2021
Abstract The sustainable urban redevelopment project to protect biodiversity was developed to regenerate the external spaces of an ancient rural farmhouse, Villa Framarino, in the regional Natural Park of Lama Balice, a shallow erosive furrow (lama) rich in biodiversity, between two suburbs of the city of Bari (Apulia, Italy) and close to the city airport. This work includes a complex system of activities aimed not only at a spatial revaluation, necessary to relaunch the urban image, but it is accompanied by interventions of a cultural, social, economic, environmental...
Vegetation management and benthic macroinvertebrate communities in urban stormwater ponds: implications for regional biodiversity
01. August 2021
Abstract Designed ecosystems (e.g., gardens or engineered ponds) are increasingly common components of urban landscapes and contribute valuable ecosystem services. However, management of designed ecosystems is typically vegetation-centric and often does not consider associated fauna. Urban ponds typify this relationship as their vegetation is managed to improve ecosystem services, such as aesthetics and stormwater runoff mitigation, but it is unclear how pond management affects associated organisms. Here, we used urban stormwater ponds as a study system to determine how...
Increased population density and behavioural flexibility of African clawless otters (Aonyx capensis) in specific anthropogenic environments
01. August 2021
Abstract Land transformation for anthropogenic use is the leading cause of species decline globally. However, few species are able to succeed in anthropogenically disturbed environments. African clawless otters (Aonyx capensis) occur in a wide variety of habitats, and thus are good model species to investigate animal adaptation to anthropogenic environments. Therefore, we aimed to estimate and compare population densities, group size, and activity time of African clawless otters occurring in a transformed area, Millstream Farm, and two natural areas, Verloren Vallei...
Demographic drivers of Norway rat populations from urban slums in Brazil
01. August 2021
Abstract The Norway rat is a globally distributed pest, known for its resilience to eradication and control programs. Efficient population control, especially in urban settings, is dependent on knowledge of rat demography and population ecology. We analyzed the relationship between four demographic outcomes, estimated by live-trapping data, and fine-scale environmental features measured at the capture site. Wounds, a proxy for agonistic interactions, were associated with mature individuals. Areas with environmental features favorable to rats, such as open sewers and...
Are vascular epiphytes in urban green areas subject to the homogenization of biodiversity? A case study in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest
01. August 2021
Abstract Urbanization is a disturbance process that can select species and result in biodiversity homogenization. Despite this, urban green areas shelter nature and are also important to human welfare. Epiphytes are an important functional group present in such areas, that are rarely studied. We evaluated the vascular epiphytic component in 26 urban green areas in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and tested hypotheses related to the anthropogenic disturbances: 1) the community of epiphytes in urban green areas presents low richness and diversity of species; 2) there is low...
Population estimates of non-native rose-ringed parakeets Psittacula krameri (Scopoli, 1769) in the Durban Metropole, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa
01. August 2021
Abstract Rose-ringed parakeets Psittacula krameri are one of the most widely distributed urban avian invader species present in ~ 35 countries with population sizes increasing. These parakeets were introduced to South Africa as part of the pet trade, and feral populations have established in several urban areas since and are of concern. We, therefore, conducted monthly surveys between August 2018 – December 2019 in the greater Durban Metropole, KwaZulu-Natal Province, to determine their population size and roosting sites. In addition, we recorded bird species that...
Evaluation of the importance of ornamental plants for pollinators in urban and suburban areas in Stuttgart, Germany
01. August 2021
Abstract Urban landscapes are often characterized by a wide range of diverse flowering plants consisting of native and exotic plants. These flower-rich habitats have proven to be particularly valuable for urban pollinating insects. However, the ability of ornamental plants in supporting urban pollinator communities is still not well documented. For this study, we established flower beds at 13 different urban testing sites, which were planted with identical sets of ornamental garden plants. The pollinator visitation patterns were then observed throughout the summer...
Researchers working with city administrations: Reflecting on transdisciplinary collaboration under conditions of shared goals but different constraints
23. Juli 2021
Abstract Academics and city administrations generally agree that environmental management decisions should be science based, which suggests the value of collaboration between city officials and researchers. Such collaboration, termed “ecology with cities”, is an example of translational ecology that should integrate ecological and social sciences to inform decision-makers. However, there has been insufficient reflection on whether ecology with cities achieves the expected development of practical social-ecological knowledge for the common good. We addressed this gap...