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Urban Ecosystems 

Latest Results for Urban Ecosystems
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Activity patterns and temporal niche partitioning of dogs and medium-sized wild mammals in urban parks of Xalapa, Mexico
12. Juli 2019
Abstract Free-ranging domestic dogs are the world most common exotic carnivore species that could negatively interact with the native wildlife as predators, competitors, and disease vectors. Their generalist habits have allowed them to be present in a large number of urban parks, which are the habitat for wild mammal species, some of these animals are restricted to these areas. Moreover, dogs can perform activities alone or in a group during day and night time, having a wide temporal niche. However, the issues related to activity patterns overlap and temporal niche...
Feral pigeon ( Columba livia var. domestica ) management in low-density urban areas: prevention is better than cure
12. Juli 2019
Abstract Currently, there are naturalized populations of feral pigeon (Columba livia var. domestica) worldwide with an estimated global population between 165 and 330 million individuals. Feral pigeons are adapted to urban environments, creating problems related to human health, damage to architectural structures, unpleasant soiling, and foul odors. Thus, local governments usually implement measures to reduce feral pigeon populations in cities to a suitable size. We monitored a feral pigeon trapping campaign to investigate the use of cage traps as control method in...
Characterizing urban butterfly populations: the case for purposive point-count surveys
09. Juli 2019
Abstract Developing effective butterfly monitoring strategies is key to understanding how butterflies interact with urban environments, and, in turn, to developing local conservation practices. We investigated two urban habitat types (public gardens and restored/reconstructed prairies) and compared three survey methods (Pollard transects, purposive point counts, and random point counts) to determine which was most productive for detecting butterflies and assessing family diversity. We conducted 66 butterfly surveys by using each method (198 total) from May through...
Cemeteries and biodiversity conservation in cities: how do landscape and patch-level attributes influence bird diversity in urban park cemeteries?
04. Juli 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...
Evaluating the potential contribution of urban ecosystem service to climate change mitigation
28. Juni 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...
Differences in fish harvest, fishing effort, and angling guard activities between urban and natural fishing grounds
27. Juni 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...
A tale of two cities, with bears: understanding attitudes towards urban bears in British Columbia, Canada
25. Juni 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 a...
On the lookout for danger: House Sparrow alert distance in three cities
17. Juni 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’, ‘sex/age...
Both semi-natural and ruderal habitats matter for supporting insect functional diversity in an abandoned quarry in the city of Kraków (S Poland)
12. Juni 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...
Biodiversity conservation in urban parks: a study of ground-dwelling ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Rio de Janeiro City
07. Juni 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...
The effects of landscape scale on greenery and traffic relationships with urban birds and butterflies
07. Juni 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...
Urbanization decreases the extent and variety of leaf herbivory for native canopy tree species Quercus rubra , Quercus alba , and Acer saccharum
05. Juni 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 oak...
Intraspecific trait variation in grassland plant communities along urban-rural gradients
01. Juni 2019
Abstract Trait-based approaches have been successfully used to demonstrate how the modified ecological conditions within urban areas filter plant species within plant communities. However, there is growing evidence that trait measurement in situ may improve knowledge of the ecological mechanisms underlying such filtering processes. This study aimed to determine the relative contribution of inter- and intraspecific trait variation in explaining the influence of urban-rural gradients on grassland plant communities. Twenty-one stations were sampled along an urban-rural...
Six decades of urban green change in a neotropical city: a case study of Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
01. Juni 2019
Abstract The process of expansion of human settlements commonly occurs without proper urban planning, which can directly affect green areas located within cities and adjacent areas. This study focuses on: (1) a spatiotemporal analysis to quantify the growth of the city of Xalapa (1950s to 2010s), (2) changes in woody vegetation cover within the boundaries of the city, and (3) land use and landscape changes and urban sprawl by decade from the 1980s to 2010s. To achieve this, we used digital images (i.e., ortho-photos, SPOT images), which were classified and integrated into...
Estimating density of an elusive carnivore in urban areas: use of spatially explicit capture-recapture models for city-dwelling bobcats
01. Juni 2019
Abstract An important first step in managing urban carnivores or the habitat in which they live to reduce risk of conflicts with humans is to understand their basic ecology and population dynamics. Traditional density estimators may be inappropriate in urban areas because of extensive areas of impermeable development but new techniques that include spatial structure could be useful within large urban metropolitan areas. Yet to date, these techniques have largely remained untested. We evaluated whether spatially explicit capture-recapture models (SECR) could provide a...
Spatial ecology of urban striped skunks ( Mephitis mephitis ) in the Northern Great Plains: a framework for future oral rabies vaccination programs
01. Juni 2019
Abstract Few studies have investigated the ecology of urban striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) despite their role as a primary rabies vector species paired with an ability to thrive in these landscapes. Information on home range, nightly movements, and habitat selection, is important for rabies management planning regarding the placement of oral rabies vaccine (ORV) baits and for management of skunk populations more generally. Our aim was to obtain baseline ecological information with an emphasis on spatial ecology of urban striped skunks in the Northern Great Plains...
Hormonal adjustments to urban conditions: stress hormone levels in urban and rural populations of Apodemus agrarius
01. Juni 2019
Abstract Animals’ adaptation to life in cities is a widely studied issue in ecology. One such adaptation is the adjustment of stress response to new conditions and anthropogenic disturbances. There are various examples of such adjustments in urban birds, but the stress response of non-avian species has rarely been investigated. We studied an urban and a rural population of a small mammal, the striped field mouse Apodemus agrarius. We compared baseline corticosterone (CORT) concentration in faecal samples from mice, using ELISA tests with antibodies for this hormone...
Woody species and trait diversity-functional relations of green spaces in Kumasi, Ghana
01. Juni 2019
Abstract Urban biodiversity is essential to creating resilient and sustainable cities. Nevertheless, there is paucity of data on the characterization of microhabitat effects on species/trait diversity and diversity-functional relationships in urban landscapes especially in developing countries. The objectives of this study were to; 1) analyze tree species diversity and composition of urban green space (UGS) types and urban zones, (2) describe the life history diversity of UGS types and urban zones and 3) examine the links between species and life history trait diversity...
Distribution of soft bottom macrobenthic communities in tropical marinas of Singapore
01. Juni 2019
Abstract The establishment of marinas alters physico-chemical conditions and affects distribution of resident epibiotic and pelagic communities along coastal areas. However, information on the soft bottom macrobenthos within and around these boating facilities in the tropics is limited. Here, we investigated if macrobenthic communities differed among three representative tropical marinas, and whether the communities inhabiting the marinas differed from those outside the marinas. Ekman grab sampling of the soft bottom sediment at three Singapore marinas – Raffles...
White-footed mouse ( Peromyscus leucopus ) habitat selection and Amur honeysuckle ( Lonicera maackii ) canopy use in an urban forest
01. Juni 2019
Abstract Urban parks undergo significant changes in their community composition and habitat structure as a result of anthropogenic land-use changes. Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) dominates invaded urban parks and changes the vegetative community. This study examines the impact of L. maackii on white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) foraging behavior and habitat selection. Detailed vegetative and structural surveys allowed for analysis of habitat use. A capture-mark-recapture study was conducted in both the terrestrial and arboreal environment. We found that P...