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Urban Ecosystems 

Latest Results for Urban Ecosystems
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Wooded areas promote species richness in urban parks
Abstract Urban green spaces can have an important role in biodiversity conservation. However, they are not often a focus of biodiversity studies, although their global area is raising. We investigated the impact of habitat characteristics of urban green spaces on an ecologically important group of insects—ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). We tested three questions: 1) does ant species richness positively correlate with park size and the extent of wooded areas? 2) Is ground temperature the best predictor of ant activity? 3) Will communities be dominated by thermophilic...
32 years of essential management to retain value of an urban dragonfly awareness pond
Abstract Pond construction in urban areas can mitigate loss of aquatic insects by providing refuges. Urban ponds are also an interface between civil society and aquatic insects, especially via charismatic dragonflies. Ponds have therefore been constructed specifically for dragonfly conservation awareness in many countries. Yet they require regular management, especially when an inflow to a shallow pond supplies inorganic and organic material, leading to vegetation overgrowth and natural infilling, rendering a pond back into a stream, unsuitable for many lentic species...
Grasslands provide diverse opportunities for bird species along an urban-rural gradient
28. Februar 2021
Abstract Urbanisation is a major cause of biodiversity loss but careful habitat management and provision of green space within cities can help to mitigate its negative effects. Grasslands occupy large surface areas and have many functions but only a few studies have begun to explore how birds exploit these habitats in urban contexts. We hypothesized that the value of grasslands for nesting and feeding birds is likely to depend both on landscape context, and on local characteristics (grassland size, use and vegetation structure). We surveyed local habitat characteristics...
Species-specific breeding habitat association of declining farmland birds within urban environments: conservation implications
22. Februar 2021
Abstract Human settlements represent important year-round habitats for many declining farmland birds; however, detailed knowledge of species-specific habitat associations is crucial for effective conservation of individual species. In this study, we examined the effect of environmental factors on the occurrence, population density, and habitat associations of three sedentary granivorous farmland bird species (house sparrow Passer domesticus, tree sparrow Passer montanus, and Eurasian collared dove Streptopelia decaocto) during the breeding season within an urban...
Reproductive patterns of solitary cavity-nesting bees responsive to both local and landscape factors
22. Februar 2021
Abstract Understanding how local and landscape-level factors influence species abundances and distributions is crucial for conservation and restoration efforts. Effects of urbanization are often negative at a landscape level, but some taxa such as solitary cavity-nesting bees perform better in urban areas, due to increases in food, nesting, and habitat resources at the local level. In this study, we ask how local and landscape factors across an urbanization gradient influence three demographic aspects of reproduction for solitary-nesting bees: fecundity, brood...
Floristic diversity and correlates of naturalization of alien flora in urban green spaces of Srinagar city
16. Februar 2021
Abstract The sustainable management of green spaces in cities is crucial in achieving the challenging goal of urban sustainability. The common practice of cultivation of alien plants in urban green spaces is often associated with risk of naturalisation (i.e. escape into wild), which can have sometime adverse impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. To mitigate these risks, understanding patterns and processes of naturalisation of alien flora in urban green spaces becomes crucial. Here we report the floristic diversity of alien flora and correlates of its...
‘Stray appetites’: a socio-ecological analysis of free-ranging dogs living alongside human communities in Bangalore, India
16. Februar 2021
Abstract Across the developing world, humans and free-ranging domestic dogs share common spaces. The relationship between these dogs and humans can range from one of dependence, to apathy, to conflict. Given the high number of humans attacked by dogs every year in India, and the lack of an effective population control strategy, we seek to provide insights into the conflict and propose alternative population management options based on reducing the carrying capacity of the environment. We used a mixed methods approach to understand both ecological and sociological...
Distribution and diet of recovering Eurasian otter ( Lutra lutra ) along the natural-to-urban habitat gradient (river Segura, SE Spain)
15. Februar 2021
Abstract In the catchment of the River Segura (SE Spain), ongoing Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) recovery and concurrent spread of human settlements are resulting in increasing otter records into urban areas. We analysed otter diet along a natural-to-urban gradient, with the main aim of assessing to which extent man-driven variation in food availability affects its feeding habits and how this secretive mustelid can thrive in apparently unsuitable habitats. From 2016 to 2019, we collected 521 spraints, monitoring 37 sampling stations (mean...
Estimates of energy partitioning, evapotranspiration, and net ecosystem exchange of CO 2 for an urban lawn and a tallgrass prairie in the Denver metropolitan area under contrasting conditions
13. Februar 2021
Abstract Lawns as a landcover change substantially alter evapotranspiration, CO2, and energy exchanges and are of rising importance considering their spatial extent. We contrast eddy covariance (EC) flux measurements collected in the Denver, Colorado, USA metropolitan area in 2011 and 2012 over a lawn and a xeric tallgrass prairie. Close linkages between seasonal vegetation development, energy fluxes, and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 were found. Irrigation of the lawn modified energy and CO2 fluxes and greatly contributed to differences observed between sites. Due...
Impacts of strengthened warming by urban heat island on carbon sequestration of urban ecosystems in a subtropical city of China
07. Februar 2021
Abstract Urban heat island could strengthen the warming trend of air temperature and cause the change of carbon cycle of urban ecosystems. The primary goal of this study was to explore the above phenomena in a subtropical city of Shenzhen. We selected four sites along a thermal gradient of the city and ran an ecological model to simulate hourly gross primary productivity and net ecosystem change of carbon for the purpose of analyzing the difference in the effects of urban heat island on vegetation growth and carbon sequestration. The work was also intended to help us...
Living in the concrete jungle: a review and socio-ecological perspective of urban raptor habitat quality in Europe
07. Februar 2021
Abstract Raptors can be important components of urban ecosystems due to their role as apex predators, the presence of which may bring benefits to people. Urban environments may provide good quality habitats, and the raptors’ ability to utilize resources found here can contribute to their success. However, urban environments are socio-ecological systems and such mechanisms shaping habitats and ecological resources therein are less understood. This paper explores how raptors utilize urban resources, and the socio-ecological processes influencing their quality and...
High diversity of diurnal Lepidoptera associated with landscape heterogeneity in semi-urban areas of Loja City, southern Ecuador
04. Februar 2021
Abstract Urbanization rates are increasing worldwide; therefore, urban and semi-urban ecosystems are the focus of various studies that explore their importance for biodiversity conservation. In the order Lepidoptera high species diversity has been observed in areas with distinct levels of disturbance. In Ecuador, most efforts to study the diversity of butterflies have been concentrated in protected natural areas, whereas studies in semi-urban or urban areas are limited. In this study, we measured the diversity of diurnal Lepidoptera in two semi-urban areas, in southern...
Parrots and the city: modeling potential corridors in an urban environment
02. Februar 2021
Abstract Urbanization is a worldwide problem affecting wildlife negatively. Cities cause habitat suppression, fragmentation, among other disease spreading, suitable conditions for exotic species, and direct animal kills—consequently, local native species might be extinct. Still, urban areas can also provide biodiversity maintenance because some species can be adapted to the urban environment. Here, we assess how the urban environment influences the displacement of native turquoise-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva). We created a map of environmental suitability to modeling...
Noise and tree species richness modulate the bird community inhabiting small public urban green spaces of a Neotropical city
01. Februar 2021
Abstract Small public urban green spaces (SPUGS) are important for human life-quality and for maintenance of biodiversity within urban landscapes. However, little is known about how local characteristics and spatial location are related to biodiversity inhabiting SPUGS in tropical cities. In this study, we aimed at assess how noise, vegetation aspects (local characteristics), distance from a major habitat patch and from water (spatial location) are related to the bird community (species composition, species richness, total abundance and feeding guilds) inhabiting SPUGS...
Anthropogenic factors influence the occupancy of an invasive carnivore in a suburban preserve system
01. Februar 2021
Abstract Free-ranging domestic cats (Felis catus) cats kill billions of wild animals every year, spread parasites and diseases to both wildlife and humans, and are responsible for the extinction or extirpation of at least 63 species. While the ecology and conservation implications of free-ranging cats have been well studied in some locations, relatively little is known about cats inhabiting suburban nature preserves in the United States. To address this knowledge gap, we used camera traps to study the occupancy and activity patterns of free-ranging cats in 55 suburban...
An unexpected backyard hunter: breeding Barred Owls exhibit plasticity in habitat selection along a development gradient
01. Februar 2021
Abstract Despite extensive accounts in the literature describing Barred Owls (Strix varia) as obligate forest-interior species, Barred Owls have increasingly been observed in urbanized landscapes. To determine if certain habitat characteristics, such as mature urban trees, facilitate the occurrence of Barred Owls in developed regions, we deployed GPS transmitters on 20 breeding Barred Owls in northwestern South Carolina. We selected territories containing a gradient of development density and habitat types to examine predictors of home range size and habitat selection...
Cues to care: future directions for ecological landscapes
01. Februar 2021
Abstract The design of urban yards is key to reducing natural resource consumption in cities. However, going from turf lawns and ornamental plants to more native vegetation with structural complexity is contingent on public acceptance. Addressing social/cultural values is important and landscape designers frequently point to the need for yards to be designed with human intent, or ‘cues to care’. Cues to care studies have explored what kinds of designs and maintenance practices indicate that a landscape meets cultural expectations of standards for maintenance. The...
Analysis of cat diet across an urbanisation gradient
01. Februar 2021
Abstract The domestic cat is a widespread and abundant predator that negatively impacts a wide range of species. However, the predation activity and prey type of free-ranging cats may vary between areas with different levels urbanisation. Previous analyses of cat diet have used differing techniques to measure predation that often differ with one another. Given the variability in these methods we hypothesised that cats in rural areas will have a more diverse diet than in urban areas and their predation rate may be higher than those in the urban sites. Moreover, we...
Plant-bird mutualistic interactions can contribute to the regeneration of forest and non-forest urban patches in the Brazilian Cerrado
01. Februar 2021
Abstract Birds play a crucial role in plant reproduction, being one of the most important pollinators and seed dispersers among vertebrates. Here, we aim to study plant-bird interactions in the Cerrado biome of Brazil, highlighting existing mutualistic relations and their role in forest regeneration processes. We sampled plants and recorded feeding events and other interactions between frugivorous birds and tree and shrub species in forest and non-forest environments between May 2015 and July 2016. We registered 74 plant species of 36 genera in 23 families, along with...
Home range and use of residential gardens by yellow mongoose Cynictis penicillata in an urban environment
01. Februar 2021
Abstract Urban areas provide small carnivores with an abundance of resources and reduced predation risk, resulting in higher population densities. Urban animals tend to have greatly reduced home range sizes in response to increased resource availability. We investigated the home range size of yellow mongooses Cynictis penicillata in an urban area and determined whether their home ranges overlapped with human residential areas. We studied the home range sizes of 8 collared and GPS tracked individuals in the Meyersdal Nature Area in South Africa; an area divided into two...