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Urban Ecosystems 

Latest Results for Urban Ecosystems
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Assessment of critical habitat for common snapping turtles ( Chelydra serpentina ) in an urbanized coastal wetland
Abstract Critical habitats such as nesting areas and overwintering sites are specific areas used by organisms to carry out important life functions. In many urbanized centers, critical habitats of at-risk species have often become degraded and/or fragmented because of human activities. Such is the case for the population of common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) in Cootes Paradise Marsh, a highly urbanized ecosystem located at the western tip of Lake Ontario. In addition to these threats, mortality from collisions with cars on a four-lane highway at the western end...
Ungulates in the city: light pollution and open habitats predict the probability of roe deer occurring in an urban environment
Abstract Although large and medium-sized herbivorous mammals avoid urbanized areas, they have recently begun to colonize towns and cities. In general, ungulates continue to avoid the centres of urban areas, and utilize mainly their thinly built-up outskirts. While extension of urban development is preventing ungulates from penetrating the urban landscape, the influence of noise and light pollution on the occurrence of mammalian herbivores is still poorly understood. Hence, we investigated the hypothesis that habitat availability shapes the distribution of roe deer...
Six decades of urban green change in a neotropical city: a case study of Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
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...
Woody species and trait diversity-functional relations of green spaces in Kumasi, Ghana
19. Februar 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...
Estimating density of an elusive carnivore in urban areas: use of spatially explicit capture-recapture models for city-dwelling bobcats
08. Februar 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...
The influence of land cover and within-pool characteristics on larval, froglet, and adult wood frogs along a rural to suburban gradient
06. Februar 2019
Abstract Urbanization is known to extirpate many species, but far less is known about how suburbanization may affect amphibian populations. We studied wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) to test the effects of site characteristics (within-pool conditions and land cover indicative of suburbanization within 1000 m) and larval morphology on newly emerged froglets and post-breeding males across a suburbanization gradient in 15 pools in greater Bangor, Maine, USA. We raised field-captured larvae in microcosms and examined froglet morphology and locomotor performance at...
Visions of resilience: lessons from applying a digital democracy tool in New York’s Jamaica Bay watershed
01. Februar 2019
Abstract Resilience to extreme weather events and other sudden changes is an issue facing many communities in the early twenty-first century. Planning to respond to disasters is particularly complicated in densely inhabited, multi-jurisdictional urban social-ecological systems like the watershed of Jamaica Bay, a large urbanized estuary on the south side of New York City. This area contains parklands managed by New York City, the National Park Service, and other agencies, four sewage treatment plants, three former landfills, and urban and suburban communities, all of...
Rainfall interception by six urban trees in San Juan, Puerto Rico
01. Februar 2019
Abstract Rainfall interception is an important part of the urban hydrological cycle. Understanding is limited about the role of urban trees and other vegetation in the interception process. This study quantified interception losses by six trees in the Caribbean coastal city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, three representing a broadleaf evergreen, and three representing a broadleaf deciduous species. Rainfall was partitioned into throughfall for 13 storms to compare the results between tree types. Total rainfall ranged from 2.9 to 72.4 mm, and storm duration spanned 1 h to...
Relationships between urban parks and bird diversity in the Bangkok metropolitan area, Thailand
01. Februar 2019
Abstract An analysis of the birds in Bangkok’s urban parks and landscapes provided guidance in designing healthy urban ecosystems. This research studied the relationships between bird diversity, park size, distance to the nearest main park, and habitat compositions in 10 urban parks in the Bangkok metropolitan area between January and August in 2013. Thirty sampling points per park were used to observe the number and species of birds in each urban park. A total of 50 bird species were found. Phutthamonthon, the largest urban park (400 ha), contained the greatest...
Social-ecological research in urban natural areas: an emergent process for integration
01. Februar 2019
Abstract Understanding the structure and function of urban landscapes requires integrating social and ecological research. Here, we integrate parallel social and ecological assessments of natural areas within New York City. We examined social data (from a rapid assessment of park use and meaning, collected at a park zone level) alongside ecological data (from a plot-based assessment of forest structure and diversity). In-depth interviews with researchers and managers (n = 11) involved with the social and ecological assessments revealed commonly-held values...
Breeding performance of an apex predator, the peregrine falcon, across urban and rural landscapes
01. Februar 2019
Abstract Urban environments present wildlife with major challenges and yet surprising numbers of species have colonised towns and cities globally. Despite the growing realisation that urban centres can be important habitats for wildlife, why some species do better than others in urban environments remains poorly understood. Here, we compare the breeding performance of an apex predator, the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), in urban and rural environments, and test whether variation in reproductive success between and within environments is driven by prey. Historical...
The ecology of littoral zone Chironomidae in four artificial, urban, tropical Malaysian lakes
01. Februar 2019
Abstract Urbanization is increasingly compromising lakes in the rapidly developing countries of tropical Southeast Asia. Greater understanding of the ecology of tropical lakes is essential in order to determine the best ways to protect and manage them. A comparison was made of the species richness, abundance and diets of Chironomidae in two forest lakes (both created by damming rivers - one in an urban forest reserve, one adjacent to an urban area) and two urban park lakes (ex- tin mine lakes) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 19 species of chironomids were recorded (10...
Urban ecosystem Services in Latin America: mismatch between global concepts and regional realities?
01. Februar 2019
Abstract Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is one of the most urbanized and biologically diverse regions in the world but is often characterized by weak environmental governance and socioeconomic inequalities. Given large expanses of intact biomes, a long history of pre-Colombian civilizations, and recent urbanization trends, the urban ecosystem services (UES) concept has the potential to address issues of well-being for its citizens. We review relevant regional and global literature and use expert-based knowledge to identify the state of the art of the UES concept...
From feedbacks to coproduction: toward an integrated conceptual framework for urban ecosystems
01. Februar 2019
Abstract Research in urban ecology depends on frameworks that meaningfully integrate our understanding of biophysical and social change. Although the coupled nature of urban ecosystems is widely accepted, the core mechanisms we use to integrate the social and biophysical aspects of urban ecosystems – their social-ecological feedbacks – are poorly understood. This paper considers how feedbacks are used to conceptualize social-ecological change, noting their utility and their limitations. In so doing, we suggest that coproduction provides a meaningful alternative to...
Predicting development preferences for fishing sites among diverse anglers
01. Februar 2019
Abstract Shifting demographics among angling communities mean that managers may need different amenities at fishing sites to satisfy new constituents. Anglers approach recreational fishing from diverse demographic and cultural perspectives which influence the sites they access and utilize. Understanding linkages between landscape preferences at fishing sites and demographics in shaping those preferences can improve plans for providing better fishing experiences for diverse constituents. We began addressing this need with a survey of 811 resident anglers in North...
Forest ethnography: An approach to study the environmental history and political ecology of urban forests
01. Februar 2019
Abstract A landscape succession paradigm has shaped much of our understanding about the processes of forest emergence and transformation in the United States. Drawing heavily from theory and method in environmental history, this paradigm has focused attention on the role of landscape-scale shifts in land use and land cover in the production of forests. The geography of cities is patchy, dynamic and heterogeneous, with change and differences occurring at much smaller scales (e.g. Jacobs 1961; Clay 1973) compared to coarse scale of stand replacing successions affecting...
Effects of garden management practices, by different types of gardeners, on human wellbeing and ecological and soil sustainability in Swiss cities
01. Februar 2019
Abstract Gardens have effects on the local ecology as well as on the wellbeing of the gardener, but few studies have attempted to study gardens using both ecological and social outcome variables. The aim of this exploratory study is to address this research gap by identifying the characteristics of gardens and the management practices of gardeners that enhance the outcomes of gardening, which we separate into three dimensions: human wellbeing, biodiversity, and soil quality. Data were collected from 18 gardens in Zurich, Switzerland and a typology of gardeners was...
Variation in age, body size, and reproductive traits among urban and rural amphibian populations
01. Februar 2019
Abstract Although amphibians use human-created habitats in urban landscapes, few studies have investigated the quality of these habitats. To assess habitat quality of stormwater management ponds and adjacent urban uplands for wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) and American toads (Anaxyrus americanus), we compared life history characteristics between populations breeding across an urbanization gradient. Specifically, we compared body size, ages of breeding adults, and female reproductive investment among urban, suburban, and rural populations in Baltimore County...
Understanding citizen perceptions of the Eastern Hills of Bogota: a participatory place-based ecosystem service assessment
01. Februar 2019
Abstract Integrated assessment of natural and human systems is regarded as a way to facilitate effective governance of complex environmental issues, and engagement of stakeholders is recognised as a key requirement of such an assessment. Place-based ecosystem service analysis is one framework for integrative research on understanding citizen values. By using the lens of place, participants can articulate values and perceptions. Advantages of this framework are particularly relevant in the urban setting, given that the population and functioning of cities create...
Ecosystem services deficits in cross-boundary landscapes: spatial mismatches between green and grey systems
01. Februar 2019
Abstract Quantitative analyses of the influence of boundary lines on ecosystem services distributions remain rare. Approaches towards integrative assessments of green and grey landscape systems, particularly in cross-boundaries contexts, remain underdeveloped. This study aims to close that knowledge gap. This study was carried out in the cross-boundary landscape of the cities of Cieszyn (in Poland) and Český Těšín (in the Czech Republic), which form one urban system that is divided by a national boundary. The study proposes a novel quantitative method to (1) assess...