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Urban Ecosystems 

Latest Results for Urban Ecosystems
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Moving beyond the nature-based solutions discourse: introducing nature-based thinking
01. August 2020
Abstract Suites of concepts and approaches have been launched during recent years to promote urban nature and greener cities. However, it is doubtable whether tinkering within the current economic and political system can provide adequate solutions. Nature-based Solutions can be seen as a new conceptual approach to the human-ecological connection, and as an outcome of an evolutionary development of socio-ecological concepts. In this Communication, we argue for drawing up inspiration by nature as an outset for the development of more sustainable and inclusive cities...
Flight initiation distance changes across landscapes and habitats in a successful urban coloniser
01. August 2020
Abstract Urbanisation is a major land use change that introduces novel sources of disturbance and risk into an ecosystem. Successful urban species modify their fear behaviour in response to the new conditions, as evolutionary mismatches between fear responses and environmental conditions are likely to have negative fitness consequences. Here we tested the effect of urbanisation on the fear response of a successful urban coloniser, the Australian Brush-turkey (Alectura lathami), using flight initiation distance (FID) as a measure of boldness. We predicted that...
Crown width models for woody plant species growing in urban areas of the U.S.
01. August 2020
Abstract Crown widths of woody plant species growing in urban areas are of considerable importance as an overall indicator of health and also serve as an important factor for assessing leaf area and associated ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, air pollution removal, air temperature cooling, and rainfall interception. Unfortunately, assessing crown widths in urban environments is often challenging and time consuming. To help reduce data collection costs and provide consistency over time, models to predict crown widths for urban-grown species were...
Prevalence and risk factors of Leptospira infection in urban brown rats ( Rattus norvegicus ), Vienna, Austria
01. August 2020
Abstract Leptospirosis is a worldwide bacterial zoonosis which incidence is expected to increase in conjunction with global change. In urban ecosystems, synanthropic rats are the key source of Leptospira infection in humans and other animals. Risk assessment and prediction of human leptospirosis require investigations of the environment associated with the bacteria and infection patterns in the reservoir hosts. The objective of this study was to address the prevalence of mixed Leptospira infection in the lungs and kidneys of brown rats captured in three sites of the...
Feeding behaviour of red fox and domestic cat populations in suburban areas in the south of Paris
01. August 2020
Abstract Among medium-sized carnivores, red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus) are the most abundant species in human-dominated landscapes worldwide. Both are known to be generalist predators that exploit a wide range of prey groups (e.g., mammals, birds, and invertebrates). Identifying red fox and domestic cat predation pressure on shared prey could shed light on their ecological role in shaping wildlife communities in human-dominated landscapes. Here, we assess the seasonal diet of red foxes and domestic cats in terms of composition...
Urban or rural fragments: which soil use in forest surroundings induces greater litter deposition?
01. August 2020
Abstract The soil use in surroundings of forest remnants, as well as, variations in seasonality and rainfall totals from each year might influence the composition, structure, and ecophysiological responses of vegetation and, thus, cause differences in litter deposition. For this reason, the present study proposes to verify which soil use in the surroundings of forest fragments induces greater litter deposition. Study areas were defined after mapping and quantification of urban and rural occupations around the remnants (buffer up to 3 km), based on satellite images. In...
Comparison of multiple behavioral traits between urban and rural squirrels
01. August 2020
Abstract Recent rapid urbanization has imposed novel challenges to animals. Urban animals alter their behaviors such as increased boldness, exploration, and aggressiveness to cope with anthropogenic disturbance. However, most previous studies were highly biased toward birds and examined a limited number of behavioral traits, often employing species-specific methods. Thus, we still do not fully understand how other taxa behaviorally adjust to urbanization. In this study, we investigated multiple behavioral traits between urban and rural Eurasian red squirrels, Sciurus...
Modeling the effectiveness of urban agriculture education courses
01. August 2020
Abstract Urban agriculture can provide food security that is essential to sustainable development goals. Citizen education plays a vital role in urban agriculture formation. The present study examined the effectiveness of urban agriculture education courses in the three levels of the Kirkpatrick model and estimated a structural equation model to obtain the direct effects of the studied factors. This study consisted of citizens (N = 80) who participated in the urban agricultural education courses in flowering centers of the 2nd district of Tehran, Iran. According to...
Planktonic algae abundance and diversity are similar in urban stormwater ponds of different geographic locations and natural shallow lakes
01. August 2020
Abstract Elevated levels of different contaminants are typical to stormwater management ponds. Despite that, a number of works report stormwater ponds serving as habitats for a variety of biota. In this study we aimed to examine phytoplankton communities of urban ponds, as the basis of the aquatic food web, and compare them to those of natural shallow lakes. Stormwater ponds were selected from two distant geographic locations: three in Denmark and three in Canada. As a reference to natural systems, three Danish shallow lakes were sampled. The sampling was carried out in...
Effect of pavement and water deficit on biomass allocation and whole-tree transpiration in two contrasting urban tree species
01. August 2020
Abstract Aiming to explore the species-specific responses of biomass allocation and whole-tree transpiration in urban trees to pavement and drought, a field manipulation experiment grew saplings of two common greening trees, ash (Fraxinus chinensis Roxb.) and ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba L.). Pavement slightly increased leaf area and leaf biomass in ginkgo under sufficient water supply. When water deficit occurs, the height, basal diameter, and biomass in ash reduced and more biomass was allocated to roots, pavement aggravated the reduction of stem biomass in ash. Pavement...
Are cities hotspots for bees? Local and regional diversity patterns lead to different conclusions
01. August 2020
Abstract With the decline of natural habitats, there is an ongoing debate about the importance of the urban environment for pollinating insects. Our research assessed patterns in wild bee species composition, as well as α-, β- and γ-diversity patterns and the nestedness structure in urban, suburban and rural areas. For three years bees were collected along 18 sampling transects in the Poznań area in western Poland. The average species diversity (α-diversity) and the average number of specimens per sample (local abundance) did not differ significantly between the...
Effects of habitat fragment size and isolation on the density and genetics of urban red-backed salamanders ( Plethodon cinereus )
01. August 2020
Abstract Urban expansion is creating environmental stressors through land use change, habitat fragmentation, and habitat loss. These stressors, along with a host of others, are driving precipitous declines in vertebrate taxa around the world. Amphibians, often requiring a narrow range of environmental conditions, can be especially susceptible to the stressors of environmental change. Despite habitat loss and degradation, some amphibian species continue to persist in altered urban landscapes. The red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) is one such- species and in this...
Urban bumble bees are unaffected by the proportion of intensely developed land within urban environments of the industrial Midwestern USA
01. August 2020
Abstract Urban environments have become an unexpected and promising avenue for pollinator conservation. One group of pollinators, bumble bees, might be especially well suited to utilize the heterogeneous landscape of urban ecosystems. Weedy margins (pervious land adjacent to impervious surfaces such as roads and paved lots) offer plentiful flowers for bees, but are often overlooked in urban pollinator studies. If weedy margins buffer urban bees from loss and fragmentation of foraging habitat in cities, then urban development may not have as strong of a negative effect...
Diversity and structure of urban forests of Sahel cities in Niger
01. August 2020
Abstract Urbanization in the Sahel is constantly competing with and greatly affecting the woody flora in urban areas. Urbanization can replace the species mix, leading to changes in plant community composition; however, there are limited studies that assess these attributes in Sahelian cities. This study assessed urban forests in Niamey and Maradi, two important cities of Niger, West Africa for differences between the cities and across LULC types in terms of species diversity and stand structure. Woody species were inventoried in 357 plots in urban forests located...
Bee community response to local and landscape factors along an urban-rural gradient
01. August 2020
Abstract Over a third of the world’s crops require insect pollination, and reliance on pollination services for food continues to rise as human populations increase. Furthermore, as interest in urban agriculture has grown, so has a need for studies of urban pollinator ecology and pollination. Analyzing pollinator assemblages along a rural-urban gradient provides powerful mechanistic insight into how urbanization impacts pollinators. Yet, studies examining pollinators along urban-rural gradients are limited and results vary. Since pollinators vary tremendously in life...
Are invasive House Sparrows a nuisance for native avifauna when scarce?
01. August 2020
Abstract Biological invasions are the second most important cause of species extinction. Aided by processes such as transportation and urbanization, exotic species can establish and spread to new locations, causing changes in the function and structure of ecosystems. The House Sparrow is a widespread and highly abundant landbird associated to human presence. Previous studies performed in urban landscapes have suggested that this species could be acting, in synergy with urbanization, as a potential threat to native urban avian assemblages. In this study we assessed the...
Three categories of urban green areas and the effect of their different management on the communities of ants, spiders and harvestmen
01. August 2020
Abstract Urban green areas have become an important tool for biodiversity conservation in cities. However, land use and the different management practices applied to these areas determine their effectiveness as biodiversity refuges within cities. In our study, we compare the biodiversity of three bioindicator groups of arthropods (ants, spiders and harvestmen) found in eleven urban green sites in Warsaw (Poland). The studied sites represent three categories of management: botanical gardens, public parks and urban woodlands. Our aim was to determine the effect of the type...
Drivers of fish assemblage structures in a Neotropical urban watershed
01. August 2020
Abstract Urbanization results in major changes in stream morphology, hydrology, and water quality; the consequences on fish assemblage of Neotropical urban streams remain poorly understood. Due to the importance of better understanding fish assemblage responses towards urbanization in biodiversity hotspots, we evaluated the factors structuring the fish assemblages in a Neotropical medium-sized city. Additionally, we evaluated possible differences in fish diversity and biotic homogenization between the urban and control streams. To do so, fish were sampled along with...
Urban gradients alter the diversity, specific composition and guild distribution in tropical butterfly communities
01. August 2020
Abstract The increasing expansion of the urban environment has been considered one of the causes of biodiversity loss. Due to the decrease of the quantity and quality of habitats, this process causes the restriction of organisms to sometimes-specific microhabitats. The patterns of variation of the biodiversity along the environmental gradients, however, are still poorly understood. This study evaluated how urban gradients affect the diversity, specific composition and frequency of guild of the community of butterflies. Butterflies were collected in three transects...
Effects of urban infrastructure on aquatic invertebrate diversity
01. August 2020
Abstract Wetlands are one of the world’s most important, economically valuable, and diverse ecosystems. A major proportion of wetland biodiversity is composed of aquatic invertebrates, which are essential for secondary production in aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Urban areas have intensified the challenges wetlands encounter by increasing the area of impermeable surfaces and the levels of nutrient and pollutant overflows. We investigated how urban infrastructure affects the aquatic invertebrate fauna of urban wetlands in metropolitan Helsinki, southern Finland. We...