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Urban Ecosystems 

Latest Results for Urban Ecosystems
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Urbanization alters the abundance and composition of predator communities and leads to aphid outbreaks on urban trees
01. Juni 2021
Abstract Urbanization can affect arthropod abundance in different ways. While species with narrow habitat range and low dispersal ability often respond negatively to urban environments, many habitat generalist species with good dispersal ability reach high densities in city centers. This filtering effect of urban habitats can strongly influence predator-prey-mutualist interactions and may therefore affect the abundance of predatory and phytophagous species both directly and indirectly. Here, we assessed the effect of urbanization on aphids, predatory arthropods, and ants...
Multiscale determinants of Pacific chorus frog occurrence in a developed landscape
01. Juni 2021
Abstract Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla) populations have persisted despite urban and rural development throughout the species’ range; yet it is possible that P. regilla, like other anurans with which it historically co-occurred, will become extirpated from cities and suburbs if urbanization intensifies as predicted. An improved understanding of the conditions that enable this species to persist in developed landscapes is needed to identify and conserve suitable habitats. We investigated species-habitat relationships for P. regilla in a mixed urban-rural...
Investigating temporal and spatial correlates of the sharp decline of an urban exploiter bird in a large European city
01. Juni 2021
Abstract Increasing urbanisation and human pressure on lands have huge impacts on biodiversity. Some species, known as “urban exploiters”, manage to expand in urban landscapes, relying on human resources. The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is the perfect example of a human-commensal species. Surprisingly, this urban exploiter has been declining all over Europe over the past decades. The proximate causes of this decline remain poorly understood. We particularly lack understanding about urban habitat characteristics that are particularly unfavourable for House...
Moth assemblages within urban domestic gardens respond positively to habitat complexity, but only at a scale that extends beyond the garden boundary
01. Juni 2021
Abstract ‘Wildlife-friendly’ gardening is a dominant theme in the media that readily engages public attention. However, there is little empirical evidence of the ecological benefits of increased habitat quality of individual domestic gardens. This study uses light-trapping to examine the response of moth assemblages to domestic gardens that are assessed in terms of their habitat complexity (simple and complex) both within the garden and extending out to a 30 m radius that includes surrounding habitats. The results clearly show that moth assemblages were influenced...
Butterfly species’ responses to urbanization: differing effects of human population density and built-up area
01. Juni 2021
Abstract Good knowledge on how increasing urbanization affects biodiversity is essential in order to preserve biodiversity in urban green spaces. We examined how urban development affects species richness and total abundance of butterflies as well as the occurrence and abundance of individual species within the Helsinki metropolitan area in Northern Europe. Repeated butterfly counts in 167 separate 1-km-long transects within Helsinki covered the entire urbanization gradient, quantified by human population density and the proportion of built-up area (within a 50-m buffer...
Green infrastructures and ecological corridors shape avian biodiversity in a small French city
01. Juni 2021
Abstract In the context of increasing urbanization, preserving urban biodiversity has become a priority because biodiversity appears to be a key element when evaluating the well-being of urban residents. Recently, urban management has relied on a ‘renaturing’ strategy to improve biodiversity, but the benefits of these policies remain debated. In this study, we evaluated the effects of urban land use and green corridors on (1) urban avian biodiversity, and (2) the presence of the most common (top 70%) and least common (bottom 30%) bird species. We surveyed bird...
‘Urban biocultural diversity’ as a framework for human–nature interactions: reflections from a Brazilian favela
01. Juni 2021
Abstract Biocultural diversity (BCD), denoting the ‘inextricable link’ between biological and cultural diversity, has traditionally highlighted the coevolution between highly biodiverse regions and the ethnic–linguistic diversity of indigenous communities. Recently, European researchers have relaunched BCD as a conceptual foundation for urban greenspace planning capable of overcoming challenges of the ecosystem services paradigm. However, the methodological foundation for this particular approach to ‘urban BCD’ is still in its infancy, obscuring precisely how...
Setting up an efficient survey of Aedes albopictus in an unfamiliar urban area
01. Juni 2021
Abstract Setting up a survey may be very complex, especially when no previous data are available on the population of interest. Survey results must be non debatable (i.e. whose results are not open to question and cannot be interpreted in different ways) and precise enough to allow to answer the initial research question. A probabilistic sampling design with sufficient samples for acceptable precision and robust conclusions is then a legitimate sampling strategy. This study objective is to set up an efficient survey of Aedes albopictus on a newly colonized French city...
Population increase and synurbization of the yellow-necked mouse Apodemus flavicollis in some wooded areas of Warsaw agglomeration, Poland, in the years 1983–2018
01. Juni 2021
Abstract Studies on the contribution of the yellow-necked mouse Apodemus flavicollis and of other vertebrates to the diet of the tawny owl Strix aluco were carried out in Warsaw (central Poland) in the years 1983–2018. The frequency of the yellow-necked mouse in owl pellets increased at the break of the 20th and 21st centuries, particularly in some woodlands in the peri-urban area of the agglomeration. In the second half of the first decade of the twenty-first century, this mouse species colonised a park in the city centre. The yellow-necked mouse may become an...
The effects of water chemistry and lock-mediated connectivity on macroinvertebrate diversity and community structure in a canal in northern England
01. Juni 2021
Abstract Freshwater ecosystems are under threat from habitat loss, partly due to urban expansion. However, some elements of urban freshwaters are already integral parts of the urban landscape and so are more resilient to loss, representing opportunities for the enhancement of freshwater resources within cities. This study investigated the biodiversity value of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in Leeds, UK, in relation to its landscape context. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that (i) biodiversity value is lowest nearest to the urban core, and (ii) the pattern of canal...
Non-native shrubs and calcium availability are important for birds breeding in urban forests
01. Juni 2021
Abstract Global increases in urbanization requires us to better understand how species are adapting to novel ecosystems in urbanized environments. We conducted a multi-year study to compare how five bird species with different life history strategies responded to local- and landscape-scale factors within forests in an urbanizing landscape. We modeled the responses of species to factors that have been shown to influence habitat selection for forest breeding birds including soil, vegetation, food quality and availability, and land cover. We found that, within an urbanized...
Urban colonies are more resistant to a trace metal than their forest counterparts in the ant Temnothorax nylanderi
01. Juni 2021
Abstract Cities can be used as in situ replicates to assess the responses of organisms to environmental changes, such as increased heat or pollution. Community-level studies and more rarely population-level studies have been conducted, but they are not often based on multiple city replicates, thus preventing generalization. Our study tested whether colonies of the ant Temnothorax nylanderi from forest and urban populations exhibit distinct responses to pollution. Because this is a social species, we could also test whether social traits (colony size and mean size of...
The effects of red fox scent on winter activity patterns of suburban wildlife: evaluating predator-prey interactions and the importance of groundhog burrows in promoting biodiversity
01. Juni 2021
Abstract During winter, prey species in suburban areas of the northeastern United States must consider trade-offs in maximizing survival while they are simultaneously constrained by predators and climatic conditions associated with winter such as snow and low temperatures. Many mammalian prey mitigate the physiological stress from the cold by taking refuge in burrows. Some have also developed olfactory sensitivity to predator scent cues as they attempt to avoid predation in the landscape of fear and co-evolutionary arms race between predators and prey. The Eastern...
Predicting spatial patterns of bird richness in an urban landscape in Himalayan foothills, India
01. Juni 2021
Abstract Increasing pace of urbanization is the leading cause of decline in natural areas and associated biodiversity in developing countries. Bird richness is considered as a key indicator of urban environment quality. We investigated the relationship between satellite image derived landscape variables and field surveyed bird counts to predict bird richness in a rapidly urbanizing city in Western Himalayan foothills of India. Predictor variables derived from remotely sensed data comprised of vegetation productivity, landscape metrics and topography. We found that bird...
Urban renewable energy and ecosystems: integrating vegetation with ground-mounted solar arrays increases arthropod abundance of key functional groups
01. Juni 2021
Abstract Cities are increasingly developing renewable energy within urban areas, yet the implications for ecosystems have not been explored. This study brings together climate change mitigation policies and ecosystem conservation in urban areas by investigating how ground-mounted solar arrays in parking lots affect arthropod abundance and biodiversity. We assess which arthropods are present under these solar canopies and investigate how integration of vegetation under the solar arrays affects arthropod abundance, abundance of different functional groups, and family...
Spring flow lost: a historical and contemporary perspective of an urban fish community
01. Juni 2021
Abstract Water quality and quantity within the upper San Antonio River (Bexar County, Texas) were supported historically from spring flows of the Edwards Aquifer. Since the 1700s, water quality, quantity, physical aquatic habitats, and presumably fish communities have been altered in the upper San Antonio River, including loss of spring flow and replacement of base flow by treated wastewater. The upper San Antonio river fish community provides a unique opportunity to fill a gap in knowledge on spring-associated fish responses to spring flow loss. The purpose of our...
Conservation monitoring of a polluted urban river: an occupancy modeling study of birds in the Yamuna of Delhi
11. Mai 2021
Abstract Given that ecological knowledge of large urban river systems is extremely sparse due to logistics and accessibility an occupancy modeling study was conducted on the resident birds of Delhi. River Yamuna passing through Delhi is a refuge for several resident and migratory species of birds but its water quality has been deteriorating due to ever growing population, contributing most of its pollution load in the urban center. The objectives of this study were 1) to determine whether the occupancy of common waterbirds varied between differential polluted sections of...
Morphological divergence, tail loss, and predation risk in urban lizards
06. Mai 2021
Abstract Urbanisation changes the structure of natural habitats and alters trophic interactions, pressuring urban species to adjust and adapt. Unlike behavioural shifts that tend to be more flexible, morphological characteristics in vertebrates are less plastic and changes may come at a greater cost. We explored the hypothesis that morphological characteristics in a tropical agamid lizard Psammophilus dorsalis are not only selected to suit altered habitat conditions in urbanised areas but reflect predation risk in urban habitats. In addition, we explored differences in...
Bacterial community composition and functional potential associated with a variety of urban stormwater sources
27. April 2021
Abstract Pathogens and chemical contaminants in stormwater are major environmental and public health concerns. Characterizing the variability in composition and bioremediation functions of the microbial community from different sources of stormwater will help with efforts to properly manage water after it rains. To improve understanding of the variability and composition of the microbial community in run-off from different sources, we sampled stormwater over time from an outfall and receiving stream, along with run-off from different locations (rooftop, roadway) to...
Street-level green spaces support a key urban population of the threatened Hispaniolan parakeet Psittacara chloropterus
14. April 2021
Abstract While urbanisation remains a major threat to biodiversity, urban areas can sometimes play an important role in protecting threatened species, especially exploited taxa such as parrots. The Hispaniolan Parakeet Psittacara chloropterus has been extirpated across much of Hispaniola, including from most protected areas, yet Santo Domingo (capital city of the Dominican Republic) has recently been found to support the island’s densest remaining population. In 2019, we used repeated transects and point-counts across 60 1 km2 squares of Santo Domingo to examine the...