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Abstract

Aim: Although urbanization impacts many species, there is little information on the patterns of occurrences of threatened species in urban relative to non-urban areas. By assessing the extent of the distribution of threatened species across all Australian cities, we aim to investigate the currently under-utilized opportunity that cities present for national biodiversity conservation. Location: Australian mainland, Tasmania and offshore islands. Methods: Distributions of Australia's 1643 legally protected terrestrial species (hereafter 'threatened species') were compiled. We assessed the extent to which they overlapped with 99 cities (ofmore than 10,000 people), with all non-urban areas, and with simulated 'dummy' cities which covered the same area and bioregion as the true cities but were non-urban. We analysed differences between animals and plants, and examined variability within these groups using species accumulation modelling. Threatened species richness of true versus dummy cities was analysed using generalized linear mixed-effects models. Results: Australian cities support substantially more nationally threatened animal and plant species than all other non-urban areas on a unit-area basis. Thirty per cent of threatened species were found to occur in cities. Distribution patterns differed between plants and animals: individual threatened plant species were generally found in fewer cities than threatened animal species, yet plants were more likely to have a greater proportion of their distribution in urban areas than animals. Individual cities tended to contain unique suites of threatened species, especially threatened plants. The analysis of true versus dummy cities demonstrated that, even after accounting for factors such as net primary productivity and distance to the coast, cities still consistently supported a greater number of threatened species. Main conclusions: This research highlights that Australian cities are important for the conservation of threatened species, and that the species assemblages of individual cities are relatively distinct. National conservation policy should recognize that cities play an integral role when planning for and managing threatened species.

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... Environments transformed by development usually have an altered vegetation structure that can change flora and fauna assemblages, through removing or creating suboptimal habitats for some species whilst providing habitat opportunities for other species to exploit (Grimm et al., 2008). If suitable conditions prevail, however, then novel urban ecosystems may present the best or only available habitat for local biotas (Hobbs et al., 2013), as has been observed in several urban habitats that serve as hotspots for native flora and fauna (Cincotta et al., 2000;Seto et al., 2012;Ives et al., 2016;Wintle et al., 2019). The conservation value of "green spaces, " which are largely defined as any open vegetated area of nature amongst urban development (Taylor and Hochuli, 2017), are therefore increasing. ...
... The conservation value of "green spaces, " which are largely defined as any open vegetated area of nature amongst urban development (Taylor and Hochuli, 2017), are therefore increasing. It follows then, that as human populations spread and development continues into natural habitats, the trajectory of native flora and fauna may depend on sympathetic management that accommodates their needs in human dominated landscapes (Ives et al., 2016;Soanes and Lentini, 2019). ...
... Considering the increasing value of urban environments to wildlife (Ives et al., 2016;Wintle et al., 2019), we measured small prey animal foraging activity across an urban disturbance gradient and related it to differences in habitat components and distances to predators and human disturbances. We then tested the foraging responses to additional experimentally introduced stressors of introduced predators (cat/fox) and/or human disturbance (sound and light). ...
Article
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Human activity can impose additional stressors to wildlife, both directly and indirectly, including through the introduction of predators and influences on native predators. As urban and adjacent environments are becoming increasingly valuable habitat for wildlife, it is important to understand how susceptible taxa, like small prey animals, persist in urban environments under such additional stressors. Here, in order to determine how small prey animals’ foraging patterns change in response to habitat components and distances to predators and human disturbances, we used filmed giving-up density (GUD) trials under natural conditions along an urban disturbance gradient. We then ran further GUD trials with the addition of experimentally introduced stressors of: the odors of domestic cat ( Felis catus )/red fox ( Vulpes vulpes ) as predator cues, light and sound as human disturbance cues, and their combinations. Small mammals were mostly observed foraging in the GUD trials, and to a lesser degree birds. Animals responded to proximity to predators and human disturbances when foraging under natural conditions, and used habitat components differently based on these distances. Along the urban disturbance gradient situation-specific responses were evident and differed under natural conditions compared to additional stressor conditions. The combined predator with human disturbance treatments resulted in responses of higher perceived risk at environments further from houses. Animals at the urban-edge environment foraged more across the whole site under the additional stressor conditions, but under natural conditions perceived less risk when foraging near predators and further from human disturbance (houses). Contrastingly, at the environments further from houses, foraging near human disturbance (paths/roads) when close to a predator was perceived as lower risk, but when foraging under introduced stressor conditions these disturbances were perceived as high risk. We propose that sensory and behavioral mechanisms, and stress exposure best explain our findings. Our results indicate that habitat components could be managed to reduce the impacts of high predation pressure and human activity in disturbed environments.
... Loss of habitat, agrochemical-stress, fragmentation, disease, competition from aliens, and climate change are listed as the nexus of interlinking threats to biodiversity and insect populations alike (Cardoso et al., 2020;Raven & Wagner, 2021), and researchers are looking for ways to mitigate against losses and protect against decreases (Samways et al., 2020). One area of research which provides some positive potential outcomes for the fate of pollinators (at least for some taxa), is in the refuge offered by cities. Cities have variously been touted as "refuges for pollinators", but "not a panacea for all insects" (Ives et al., 2015;Hall et al., 2017;Theodorou et al., 2020), due to the mixed results rendered for different taxa and guilds (Wenzel et al., 2020). Furthermore, the global increase in the proportion of land cultivated with pollinator-dependent crops, implies a greater reliance on managed pollinators (Aizen, Aguiar & Biesmeijer, 2019). ...
... For example, changes in biodiversity have been documented along socio-ecological gradients with greater biodiversity recorded at the wealthier end of the income gradient (Lubbe, Siebert & Cilliers, 2010;Qureshi, Haase & Coles, 2014;Shackleton et al., 2020;van Heezik et al., 2013). Furthermore, residential gardens, and community lots offer both nesting sites and abundant floral resources throughout the year (Glaum et al., 2017;Threlfall et al., 2015). As such, they can provide refuge for certain guilds of pollinators (Wenzel et al., 2020) and supplementary seasonal foraging resources year-round (Glaum et al., 2017;Koyama et al., 2018). ...
... The negative impacts of both soil-sealing and monoculture landscapes can be mitigated in several ways. In many instances, the local land use and floral abundance have a greater influence on pollinator abundance and richness than landscape structure (Simao, Matthijs & Perfecto, 2018;Theodorou et al., 2017;Threlfall et al., 2015). MABES articulates this by placing the local site directionally ahead of the landscape structure, so that land use and management, and disturbance cycles are what determine the broader landscape structure and not the other way around (Kremen et al., 2007). ...
Article
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Globally insects are declining, but some guilds of pollinators are finding refuge in urban landscapes. The body of knowledge on urban pollinators is relatively mature, which means it is now possible to begin to make generalization. Unfortunately, studies do not represent climatic regions evenly and there is a gap in research from the African continent. This study aimed to address some of the gaps on urban pollination knowledge in South Africa and to identify opportunities to improve urban habitats for pollinators. We reviewed the international literature on urban pollinators and the South African literature on pollinators with a landscape ecology focus, drawing on literature with an emphasis on agricultural and ecosystem services. The findings show that some taxa ( e.g . large-bodied, cavity nesting bees) will exploit urban environments increasing in abundance with urban intensity. Moderately sensitive taxa (such as small-bodied, ground-nesting bees) take advantage of urban environments only if local habitats are supportive of their needs for resource provision and habitat connectivity. The South African urban poor rely on pollination services for subsistence agriculture and the reproduction of wild-foraged medicines and food. Potential interventions to improve habitat quality include strategic mowing practices, conversion of turf-grass to floral rich habitats, scientific confirmation of lists of highly attractive flowers, and inclusion of small-scale flower patches throughout the urban matrix. Further research is needed to fill the Africa gap for both specialized and generalized pollinators (Diptera, Halictids, Lepidoptera and Hopliini) in urban areas where ornamental and indigenous flowering plants are valued.
... Urban ecosystems can have higher biodiversity than surrounding natural areas 11 . Although often dominated by human-tolerant, widespread species, urban areas also have the potential to harbour many threatened species 12,13 . Furthermore, conserving and restoring biodiversity in urban area can provide multiple co-benefits, such as unique socio-cultural services and health benefits to a substantial proportion of people 14,15 . ...
... Conservation gardening can therefore not only create additional land for conservation but also be an approach to expand habitat networks. Urban green spaces are increasingly recognized as important pieces of the conservation puzzle 12,13,44 that can support viable populations of threatened native species 13,40,44 . Of all threatened plant taxa assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 17.4% were already found to occur in domestic garden collections 40 , probably a conservative estimate of those actually present, as floristic inventory data of domestic gardens are far from complete, especially in biodiverse, lower-income countries 40,45 . ...
Article
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Global commitments and policy interventions for conservation have failed to halt widespread declines in plant biodiversity, highlighting an urgent need to engage novel approaches and actors. Here we propose that urban conservation gardening, namely the cultivation of declining native plant species in public and private green spaces, can be one such approach. We identify policy and complementary social mechanisms to promote conservation gardening and reform the existing horticultural market into an innovative nature-protection instrument. Conservation gardening can be an economically viable and participatory measure that complements traditional approaches to plant conservation.
... The most spectacular examples are those of the Eurasian Collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto) in several urban areas worldwide, such as North Africa (Saâd et al. 2021), Europe (Coombs et al. 1981;Eraud et al. 2007), North America (Fujisaki et al. 2010;Scheidt and Hurlbert 2014), and elsewhere (Camacho-cervantes and Schondube 2018; Luna et al. 2018), the white stork (Ciconia ciconia) in North Africa (Si Bachir et al. 2013;Mammeria et al. 2019;Hmamouchi et al. 2020a, b), and the European hare (Lepus europaeus) in Danish urban areas (Mayer and Sunde 2020). Urban areas are also colonized by some threatened species (with unfavorable conservation status), as has been stated by Aronson et al. (2014) and Ives et al. (2016). Numerous cases have been reported worldwide, such as the vulnerable Turquoise Dacnis (Dacnis hartlaubi) and the vulnerable Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) in Armenia city (Colombia) (Marín-Gómez et al. 2016), the endangered Red Siskin (Carduelis cucullata) in Cayenne (French Guiana) (Aronson et al. 2014), the endangered Australasian bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus) in Melbourne (Australia) (Aronson et al. 2014), and the critically endangered Balearic shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus) in Valencia (Spain) (Aronson et al. 2014). ...
... This importance has also been proven for the Rabat white stork population that continues to use trees within this green space to breed (Hmamouchi et al. 2020a, b). The use of cities by threatened Ives et al. (2016) and Norton et al. (2016). ...
Article
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The knowledge and understanding of mechanisms driving the distribution and selection of habitats by threatened species is a major issue aiming at an effective assessment of their conservation and management. In this study, we investigated this issue with regards to the vulnerable European Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia turtur) in the capital city of Morocco, Rabat. We used data from two sets of variables, namely landscape composition and human disturbance, to determine the best predictors that cause variation in the European Turtle-Dove occurrence by means of generalized linear mixed models. Our results showed that this occurrence was (1) positively influenced by covers of green villa zones and permanent crops and (2) negatively affected by the cover of built-up areas, a high level of noise, and a short distance to urban areas. Variation partitioning analysis revealed that the shared variation between the landscape composition and space was the most robust in explaining this occurrence (adj. R2 = 0.27). The highest occurrence of the European Turtle-Dove was mainly recorded in the green infrastructures, namely the green villa zones, thereby protecting this species of the family Columbidae. The presence of this vulnerable dove species in such an urban environment raises several questions, in particular those related to its adaptation ability and the quality of "green villa zones" as a bioindicator of presence. Further research on this urban population is needed to bring answers to these questions. The city of Rabat undoubtedly offers a useful and appropriate reference framework to consolidate and improve the knowledge on this threatened bird species.
... Urbanization is rapidly transforming Earth's land masses, with tropical regions typically experiencing faster urbanization rates than temperate ones (Seto et al., 2012). Urban development is therefore a major driver of the loss of tropical biodiverse habitats (McDonald et al., 2020;van Vliet, 2019) and the global biodiversity crisis (Aronson et al., 2014;McDonald et al., 2008), with urban areas often being hotspots for threatened species (Ives et al., 2016). Our study draws attention to key issues that enhance the understanding of biodiversity responses to urbanization including the form of tropical species richness-urbanization relationships, divergent responses across different types of species, how retention of woodland can moderate biodiversity responses to urban development, and the types of woodland that is most effective in supporting biodiversity. ...
... We also detected 36 migrant non-breeder species (25.4% of our total) confirming the importance of considering urban areas when developing strategies to maintain bird migration along the East Asian-Australasian flyway (BirdLife International, 2015;Yong et al., 2015). In combination, these findings underscore the fact that urban areas must be considered when setting regional and global conservation agendas (Ives et al., 2016). ...
Article
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Urbanization is a major driver of tropical biodiversity loss. In temperate regions avian species richness‐urbanization intensity relationships typically exhibit unimodal patterns, with peak richness at intermediate urbanization levels. In tropical regions, the form of such relationships and the extent to which they are moderated by patches of semi‐natural habitat are unclear. We address these questions in Bangkok, Thailand (one of the largest and most rapidly expanding tropical mega‐cities) and generate conservation recommendations for tropical biodiversity in urban locations. We use repeated point count surveys at a random location, and the largest available woodland patch, in 150 1 km × 1 km grid cells selected along the urbanization gradient. Woodland patches support higher species richness than randomized locations (except for non‐natives), and avian species richness declines linearly with increasing urbanization. The contrast with unimodal patterns in temperate regions is probably driven by divergent patterns of habitat heterogeneity along tropical and temperate urbanization gradients. Moreover, we provide novel evidence that retaining patches of urban woodland moderates adverse impacts of urbanization on avian species richness. For most species groups, the benefits of woodland increase as urbanization intensifies, despite such woodland patches being very small (mean of 0.38 ha). Avian species richness in woodland patches is maximized, and community composition less similar to that in randomized locations, when woodland patches are larger and visited by fewer people. Assemblages of forest‐dependent species (which provide additional ecological functions) have higher richness, and are less similar to those in randomized locations, in patches of woodland with higher tree species richness and biomass. Finally, species richness in randomized sites is greatest when they are closer to woodland patches, and such assemblages more closely resemble those of woodland sites. Our work highlights four strategies for tropical urban bird conservation: i) conserving woodland patches across the urbanization gradient regardless of patch size, ii) improving the quality of existing woodland by increasing tree biomass and diversity, iii) creating additional woodland that is well distributed throughout the urban area to minimize effects of habitat isolation and iv) reducing human disturbance, especially in areas of the highest habitat quality, while ensuring that the benefits of connecting people to nature are realized in other locations.
... Many species spontaneously established even in city beautification parks, which were created and constantly managed by landscape designers (Chang et al. 2021). The growing evidence shows that some species, including threatened ones, not only persist in urban habitats but flourish there (Schwartz et al. 2013;Ives et al. 2016). Plants in urban areas have high societal value (Hartig and Kahn 2016), and their conservation value grows with the expansion of urban areas (Goddard et al. 2010). ...
... It has only been since the late 1980s that how cities might contribute toward local, national and global sustainability has begun to be recognized. While climate change has tended to dominate this agenda, cities also have a range of different yet substantial roles in addressing the loss of nature: as habitats for biodiversity and threatened species (Aronson et al., 2014;Hall et al., 2017;Ives et al., 2016;Soanes and Lentini, 2019); as locations for people to connect with nature (Soanes and Lentini, 2019); as key jurisdictions in global and multilevel governance (Pattberg et al., 2019) and as important consumption arenas driving biodiversity loss globally (Díaz et al., 2019). Nonetheless, it was not until 2008 that the first Global Biodiversity Summits of Local and Subnational Governments was held in parallel to the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. ...
Chapter
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Over fifty years of global conservation has failed to bend the curve of biodiversity loss, so we need to transform the ways we govern biodiversity. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity aims to develop and implement a transformative framework for the coming decades. However, the question of what transformative biodiversity governance entails and how it can be implemented is complex. This book argues that transformative biodiversity governance means prioritizing ecocentric, compassionate and just sustainable development. This involves implementing five governance approaches - integrative, inclusive, adaptive, transdisciplinary and anticipatory governance - in conjunction and focused on the underlying causes of biodiversity loss and unsustainability. Transforming Biodiversity Governance is an invaluable source for academics, policy makers and practitioners working in biodiversity and sustainability governance. This is one of a series of publications associated with the Earth System Governance Project. For more publications, see www.cambridge.org/earth-system-governance. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
... Of particular importance are bigger cultural sites, which, due to their size, heterogeneity and endurance of human-induced disturbance, can provide important habitats for a wide variety of species, and often support a high species diversity that in some cases surpasses that of natural habitats [42]. The inaccessibility of portions of these sites (e.g., the tops and walls of high monuments) offers refuge for relict populations of rare species with high conservation importance, which have disappeared in the wild and in adjoining rural habitats [43,44]. Thus, these sites can play an important role in nature conservation, particularly in human-modified urban environments [2]. ...
Article
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The role of heritage sites as a shelter for biodiversity is overlooked. Eight archeological sites representing different landscapes in Alexandria City were surveyed, from which 59 stands were sampled between April 2019 and March 2021. The archeological sites and the relictual landscapes are geographically dispersed and are arranged here from west to east, representing the full range of environmental variation within the study area. The selection of stands in each site was based on the area and the variability within the habitats, the physiography, and the levels of disturbance. A composite soil sample was collected from each site. Two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN) and detrended correspondence analysis (DECORANA) were carried out to identify the plant communities in the study area. The recorded taxa, their national geographical distribution, life forms, habitats, chorological types, and vegetation groups are listed. A total of 221 specific taxa, 172 native and 49 alien non-native species (representing some 10.3% of the whole range of Egyptian flora), belonging to 150 genera and 44 families, are reported in the present study. Only two endemic species were recorded in the studied urban habitats. The phytosociological analysis of the sites showed differences among vegetation types found in the archeological sites as a function of the varying degrees of enthronization. A significant effect of archeological site and relictual landscape on species diversity was observed as indicated using the richness, Shannon’s and Simpson’s indices. Flat plains are substantially more diverse than any of the other habitats in the present study, followed by the habitat of rocky ridge slope. The present study found evidence of an ecological legacy that persists today within the semi-arid climatic ecosystem of Alexandria City. The study highlights the urgent need for measures to maintain cultural landscapes while considering the conservation of biodiversity within the archeological sites. It is hoped that the outcomes of the current study can provide guidance on the potential integration of biodiversity conservation in planning the management of archeological sites.
... We argue that explicitly broadening conservation goals to incorporate anthropogenically impacted sites and novel ecosystems will benefit both humans and non-humans. A growing body of evidence points to urban, suburban, and exurban sites as important refugia for a variety of plant and animal species, including those that are rare and threatened (Ives et al. 2016;Braidwood et al. 2018;Shaffer 2018;Planchuelo et al. 2019;Soanes & Lentini 2019). A corresponding body of evidence points to benefits to human physical and mental health from contact with the urban natural world (Tzoulas et al. 2007;Pickard et al. 2015;Kondo et al. 2018;Labib et al. 2020). ...
Article
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Urbanized and post‐industrial sites often host considerable biodiversity but are too frequently dismissed by conservation professionals, in part because current species assemblages differ from the site's natural history. Given the dramatic and often irreversible changes to these sites, we conclude that historic ecosystems do not provide a useful reference for restoration. However, seen through a novel ecosystem lens, these landscapes already have conservation value and thus require nuanced restoration planning that recognizes their current and potential community composition. We highlight slag‐dominated sites in the brownfields of the Calumet region as an example of a post‐industrial landscape that may serve both as a recreational area for humans and a refuge for native biodiversity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... Similarly, habitat fragmentation and isolation (Scolozzi & Geneletti, 2012) affect both above-ground and below-ground biota. Despite the various anthropogenic impacts, cities can harbour a high biological diversity (Aronson et al., 2014;Hall et al., 2017;McKinney, 2002) including endangered species (Ives et al., 2016;Planchuelo et al., 2019;Soanes & Lentini, 2019). Thus, developing biodiversity-friendly cities is required to tackle the global biodiversity crisis and has consequently attracted recent scientific and public attention (Bonthoux et al., 2014;Fischer et al., 2020;Nilon et al., 2017;Parris et al., 2018). ...
Article
Biodiversity in urban ecosystems has the potential to increase ecosystem functions and support a suite of services valued by society, including services provided by soils. Specifically, the sequestration of carbon in soils has often been advocated as a solution to mitigate the steady increase of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere as a key driver of climate change. However, urban ecosystems are also characterized by an often high level of ecological novelty due to profound human‐mediated changes, such as the presence of high numbers of non‐native species, impervious surfaces, or other disturbances. Yet it is poorly understood whether and how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning and services of urban soils under these novel conditions. In this study, we assessed the influence of above‐ and belowground diversity, as well as urbanization and plant invasions, on multifunctionality and organic carbon stocks of soils in non‐manipulated grasslands along an urbanization gradient in Berlin, Germany. We focused on plant diversity (measured as species richness and functional trait diversity) and, in addition, on soil organism diversity as a potential mediator for the relationship of plant species diversity and ecosystem functioning. Our results showed positive effects of plant diversity on soil multifunctionality and soil organic carbon stocks along the entire gradient. Structural equation models revealed that plant diversity enhanced soil multifunctionality and soil organic carbon by increasing the diversity of belowground organisms. These positive effects of plant diversity on soil multifunctionality and soil fauna were not restricted to native plant species only, but were also exerted by non‐native species, although to a lesser degree. Synthesis. We conclude that enhancing diversity in plants and soil fauna of urban grasslands can increase the multifunctionality of urban soils and also add to their often underestimated but very valuable role in mitigating effects of climate change.
... Furthermore, cities are the next frontier in biodiversity conservation [96]. In Australia, cities support 30% of the threatened plant and animal species, which is the highest proportion of land use on a unit-area basis [97]. Scholars are calling for novel approaches to the scientific premise of a more-than-human city [27]. ...
Article
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The term ‘sustainability’ has become an overused umbrella term that encompasses a range of climate actions and environmental infrastructure investments; however, there is still an urgent need for transformative reform work. Scholars of urban studies have made compelling cases for a more-than-human conceptualisation of urban and environmental planning and also share a common interest in translating theory into practical approaches and implications that recognise (i) our ecological entanglements with planetary systems and (ii) the urgent need for multispecies justice in the reconceptualisation of genuinely sustainable cities. More-than-human sensibility draws on a range of disciplines and encompasses conventional and non-conventional research methods and design approaches. In this article, we offer a horizon scan type of review of key posthuman and more-than-human literature sources at the intersection of urban studies and environmental humanities. The aim of this review is to (i) contribute to the emerging discourse that is starting to operationalise a more-than-human approach to smart and sustainable urban development, and; (ii) to articulate a nascent framework for more-than-human spatial planning policy and practice.
... Parks and streetscapes with significant tree cover are not only crucial for people, but also to the other species we share our cities. There are more threatened species in Australian cities per unit of area than elsewhere in the country (Ives et al., 2016), a reality that mirrors the US (Schwartz, Jurjavcic, & O'brien, 2002). The threatened biodiversity reflects the negative impact of urbanisation. ...
Technical Report
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Urban forests provide numerous benefits to human health and wellbeing, the local urban environment and biodiversity conservation. As a result, many cities now have urban forest strategies to increase their tree canopy coverage. Despite this, in Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, many inner and middle-ring suburbs are experiencing declining urban forests. In this report, we explore different spatial concepts for improving canopy coverage using the Perth middle ring Local Government Area of Bayswater as a case study. We employ a Delphi method assessment of the concepts, about their respective benefits and feasibility. The report concludes that while experts often focus on the technical dimensions of urban forest plans, there is substantial support for schemes that embody a narrative that can help engender community support that is crucial for successfully implementing such policies.
... Gli ecosistemi urbani sono tradizionalmente rappresentati come poveri di specie (Aronson et al., 2014), ma studi recenti hanno dimostrato come le aree verdi urbane possano giocare un ruolo importante per sostenere la biodiversità urbana (Ives et al., 2016). Questi spazi includono sistemi naturali, seminaturali e artificiali all'interno e al contorno delle città ed includono diversi tipi di aree, dalle macchie residue di vegetazione autoctona alle aree libere o dismesse, fino ai giardini e ai cortili il cui contributo può essere potenziato da forme di gestione idonee . ...
Article
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Citizen’s engagement in NBS and urban biodiversity observations in Milan: Experience from CLEVER Cities project: The European strategy for Biodiversity 2030 recognizes the fundamental role of urban green infrastructures in maintaining biodiversity and ecological connection in our cities. The Nature based Solutions (NBS) should be systematically integrated in the urban planning policies of public spaces, urban infrastructures and buildings. The H2020 – CLEVER Cities project is experimenting a co-creation process for the co-design, co-implementation, co-maintenance and co-monitoring of customized ecological solutions, in order to maximize their environmental and social impacts within urban regeneration processes. In this article, we bring the attention to the experience of engaging citizens in monitoring the co-benefits of nature in the city of Milan.
... Apesar desse cenário negativo, a área urbana pode ter uma participação efetiva como suporte para a biodiversidade, ao menos se bem planejada e gerida (Alvey, 2006;Aronson et al., 2017;Oke et al., 2021). Por exemplo, as cidades podem ser "hotspots" de biodiversidade, portanto, focos de ações conservacionistas (Ives et al., 2016), inclusive se forem os últimos refúgios para certas espécies (Soanes & Lentini, 2019). Nesse sentido, é elementar conhecer a biodiversidade da área urbana. ...
Article
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A urbanização representa uma ameaça à biodiversidade, já que a área construída difere substancialmente do ambiente natural. Portanto, é necessário produzir dados ecológicos para uma gestão urbana mais conservacionista, i.e., que objetiva promover e manter a biodiversidade. Nesse sentido, realizamos uma documentação arbórea em 10 áreas florestais urbanas, i.e., reflorestamentos, florestas regeneradas e remanescentes de Mata Atlântica Estacional Semidecidual, de Presidente Prudente, oeste do estado de São Paulo, sudeste do Brasil. Usando o método de ponto-quadrante, bem como diferentes índices de diversidade, constatamos uma considerável riqueza e diversidade de espécies arbóreas nativas em reflorestamentos, sobretudo em remanescentes. Em um desses remanescentes há inclusive uma espécie arbórea ameaçada de extinção. Contudo, há florestas regeneradas cujas árvores são de uma única espécie exótica, a qual tem atributos de invasora. O estado fitossanitário de muitas dessas árvores sugere um proeminente potencial de alastramento. Os remanescentes de florestas urbanas são referências prioritárias para ações de conservação voltadas a promover e manter biodiversidade na cidade.
... Conversely, urban conditions can negatively affect net productivity and ecosystem respiration rates. For example, net productivity of vegetation can be decreased through increased pollutant loads (e.g., ozone, heavy metals; Ainsworth et al., 2012;Krupa & Manning, 1988;Ollinger et al., 2002), poor soil conditions (Pickett & Cadenasso, 2009;Rahman et al., 2011;Roman & Scatena, 2011), management choices (e.g., road salting, extensive pruning, and removal of hazard trees; Roman & Scatena, 2011), the amplified impacts of heat waves (Li & Bou-Zeid, 2013;Teskey et al., 2014), abundance of invasive species (Ives et al., 2016;Kühn et al., 2004), and unique wildlife pressures (i.e., deer herbivory; Bressette & Beck, 2013). Soil respiration rates can also be reduced due to high levels of impervious surfaces in urban centers resulting in less soil area being connected to the atmosphere (Decina et al., 2016) and due to the removal of carbon substrates (i.e., leaf litter; Templer et al., 2015). ...
Article
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Cities are taking the lead on climate change mitigation with ambitious goals to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The implementation of effective mitigation policies will require accurate measurements to guide policy decisions and monitor their efficacy. Here, we present a comprehensive CO2 inventory of an urban temperate forest and unmanaged grassland using field observations. We estimate the annual storage of CO2 by vegetation and soils and place our biogenic flux estimates in the context of local fossil fuel (FF) emissions to determine when, where, and by how much biogenic fluxes alter net CO2 flux dynamics. We compare our hourly estimates of biogenic fluxes in the forest site to modeled estimates using a modified version of Urban‐Vegetation Photosynthesis and Respiration Model (Urban‐VPRM) in Washington DC/Baltimore area presenting the first urban evaluation of this model. We estimate that vegetation results in a net biogenic uptake of −2.62 ± 1.9 Mg C ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹ in the forest site. FF emissions, however, drive patterns in the net flux resulting in the region being a net source of CO2 on daily and annual timescales. In the summer afternoons, however, the net flux is dominated by the uptake of CO2 by vegetation. The Urban‐VPRM closely approximates hourly forest inventory based estimates of gross ecosystem exchange but overestimates ecosystem respiration in the dormant season by 40%. Our study highlights the importance of including seasonal dynamics in biogenic CO2 fluxes when planning and testing the efficacy of CO2 emission reduction polices and development of monitoring programs.
... Consequently, urbanisation can impact wildlife populations via isolation (Miles et al., 2019), fluctuating resources (Kristan et al., 2004), constant disturbance (Doherty et al., 2021), and pollution (Müller et al., 2020). Yet, within our urban ecosystems, many remnant habitats persist and provide important strongholds for a surprising array of threatened species (Ives et al., 2016;Soanes and Lentini, 2019). ...
Article
Urban ecosystems and remnant habitat 'islands' therein, provide important strongholds for many wildlife species including those of conservation significance. However, the persistence of these habitats can be undermined if their structure and function are too severely disrupted. Urban wetlands, specifically, are usually degraded by a monoculture of invasive vegetation, disrupted hydrology, and chronic-contamination from a suite of anthropogenic pollutants. Top predators—as bioindicators—can be used to assess and monitor the health of these ecosystems. We measured eight health parameters (e.g., parasites, wounds and scars, tail loss and body condition) in a wetland top predator, the western tiger snake, Notechis scutatus occidentalis. For three years, snakes were sampled across four wetlands along an urban gradient. For each site, we used GIS software to measure the area of landscape variables and calculate an urbanisation–landscape score. Previously published research on snake contamination informed our calculations of a metal-pollution index for each site. We used generalised linear mixed models to assess the relationship between all health parameters and site variables. We found the metal-pollution index to have the most significant association with poor body condition. Although parasitism, tail loss and wounds differed among sites, none of these parameters influenced body condition. Additionally, the suite of health parameters suggested differing health status among sites; however, our measure of contemporary landscape urbanisation was never a significant predictor variable. Our results suggest that the health of wetland predators surrounding a rapidly growing city may be offset by higher levels of environmental pollution.
... Garden skinks, rainbow lorikeets and brushtail possums are some of the most well-known of these latter species. Intriguingly, many threatened species also occur in city environments, with a study by Ives et al. (2016) finding that 503 species listed as threatened on the EPBC Act had distributions that intersected urban areas, and 51 of these having at least 30% of their distributions within city limits. However, species that become confined to small patches of habitat do not always persist long term, and eventually disappear due to threats from the surrounding environment, limited resources and opportunities to disperse; this postponement of loss is the 'extinction debt'. ...
Chapter
The immense size, varied land systems, different climatic regimes, and great antiquity of the Australian landmass have fostered the development of an extraordinarily rich and endemic biota. Yet, despite the importance of this unique natural heritage, evidence is mounting that Australia’s living systems are under increasing assault. On land, the major threats faced by the biota include land clearing and fragmentation, pressures from livestock production, pest species and pathogens, consumption and extraction of natural resources, altered fire regimes, climate change and climate variability, and interactions between these drivers. Equivalent pressures face the biota of aquatic environments, with climate change interacting with other threats to produce poor prognoses for the future of freshwater resources and major marine ecosystems such as the Great Barrier Reef. Despite the success of some conservation programs, the varied threats to Australia’s fragile environment are exacerbated by the demands of the nation’s burgeoning human population and the generally apathetic response of government to the manifest problems. We suggest that the Australian environment can be seen as a ‘canary in the climate coal mine’—an early herald of global environmental decline—and that more recognition of the problems, more courage, more resources and stronger laws will be crucial if any semblance of ecological sustainability is to be achieved.
... The research conducted by [5] found 121 tree species on the USU campus and belonged to 37 families. These species have various functions: producing food [6], wood [7], medicine [8], fiber [9], energy [10], absorbing pollutants [11], aesthetics [12], and bioherbicides [13]. Related to the function of GS as a means of food security in urban areas, the presence of trees on the USU campus is also a potential source of food for this purpose. ...
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The environmental impact of food is one of the drivers of cities’ growing interest in the developed food system in urban areas, one of which is campus green space. Green spaces (GS) on campus accompany native trees, landscaping, and water features for nurturing wildlife and people in the surrounding campus. In addition, GS can provide food sources such as fruit, alternative food, seeds, and nuts. This study aims to identify food trees in 120 hectares of the University Sumatera Utara campus area through field inventory methods. Our research showed that 49 species belong to 18 families and 1536 individuals USU campus produce beneficial food for people surrounding campus, either fruit, nuts, and alternative food. Thus, we conclude that the university’s green space can support the urban area’s vision as food providers and ecological services for achieving urban sustainability. Furthermore, gathering and gleaning from green space provides opportunities for inhabitants to maintain urban resources and deeply interact with nature.
... In addition, we only used data from birds that had integrated into a flock, which was confirmed through either visual confirmation or Behavioral Change Point Analysis (Gurarie et al. 2009) using the method of Rycken et al. (2019). Behavioral Change Point Analysis uses a combination of mean, standard deviation, and autocorrelation of the calculated velocity and turning angles of a movement trajectory to identify change points in an animal's movement (Gurarie et al. 2009, 2016, Nilsson 2014. This analysis has proved to be able to assess between different movement behavioral modes in black cockatoos and to determine whether an individual is showing flock movement and is therefore integrated into a wild flock . ...
... Despite common misconceptions that cities are species-poor, new evidence demonstrates the opposite, defining UGS vital for supporting urban biodiversity (Aronson et al., 2014(Aronson et al., , 2017Beninde et al., 2015;Ives et al., 2016). Moreover, climate change influences several factors of importance for habitat quality and urban biodiversity, especially in cities where its effects are much more intense. ...
Chapter
Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) increase their efficacy if included in an overall framework such as Green Infrastructures (GI), maximising ecosystem benefits and avoiding possible negative externalities and trade-offs. Urban green spaces and NBS are components of GI that increase the quality of urban settings, enhancing territorial resilience, and improving the health and well-being of citizens. The research proposes a methodology, tested in the municipality of Settimo Torinese (North-west of Italy), for selecting urban green spaces with high performance in terms of biodiversity conservation, which can involve a GI strategy as a multifunctional structure that combines different Ecosystem Services (ES). The enhancement of natural capital and ES provision is reached identifying suitable NBS to protect and improve biodiversity based on the Habitat Quality (HQ) assessment, considered a key supporting service. HQ was derived testing two different sensitivity data: the first based on Land Use/Land Cover, while the second uses the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index. The latter was functional to overcome limits in representing the ecologic integrity of urban areas highlighting an important variety of green spaces and related ES, especially in compact cities. The results are useful for defining effective environmental policies and strategies in urban areas and addressing the decision-making process towards sustainable development goals.
... Urban areas support many flora and fauna species of conservation concern (Cincotta et al., 2000;Seto et al., 2012;Ives et al., 2016;Wintle et al., 2019), and often provide the only suitable habitat that is left (Hobbs et al., 2013). Conservation of biodiversity may therefore become increasingly reliant upon effective management of urban environments (Dearborn and Kark, 2010;Soanes and Lentini, 2019). ...
Article
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Urban environments provide the only or best habitats that are left for wildlife in many areas, promoting increased interest in urban conservation and a need to understand how wildlife cope with urban stressors, such as altered predator activity and human disturbance. Here, we used filmed giving-up density experiments to investigate behavioral coping responses of foraging small prey animals at three sites (close, mid, and far) along an urban disturbance gradient. Our study design included “natural” and experimentally added stressor cues of predators and/or human disturbance. We observed small mammal foraging behaviors, particularly: the common brushtail possum ( Trichosurus vulpecula ), northern brown bandicoot ( Isoodon macrourus ), brown antechinus ( Antechinus stuartii ), black rat ( Rattus rattus ), and brown rat ( Rattus norvegicus ), and to a lesser degree several species of native birds. We found that at the close urban-edge environment, coping responses to human disturbances were most pronounced, and predator cues from the red fox ( Vulpes vulpes ) were perceived as least risky. However, at the mid environment, red fox cues were perceived as most risky, especially when combined with human disturbance. At the far environment, domestic cat ( Felis catus ) cues were perceived as most risky, again when combined with human disturbance. Impacts from the combined stressors of predator and human disturbance cues appeared to be additive, with higher risk being perceived with increasing distance from urban build-up. Behavioral adjustments were observed to be the primary response to stressors by small prey animals in the close environment. In the mid environment, slight temporal shifts in activity across the night were more evident. In the far environment, habitat components were likely being used differently as the primary coping response to stressors. As mostly the same species were observed along the disturbance gradient, our results suggest a level of response plasticity that is calibrated to the level of exposure to a stressor and the stressor type. To maximize conservation outcomes in urban habitats, we therefore propose that management should be sensitive to the level and history of human disturbance, as this affects the coping responses of wildlife that remain.
... Urban and urbanizing areas support both high biodiversity (e.g., Kühn et al., 2004a;Ives et al., 2016) and biodiversity loss (IPBES, 2019). This seeming discrepancy might in part be due to the lack of long-term studies of species population development in urban environments (but see Planchuelo et al., 2020a). ...
Article
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A key challenge in urban biodiversity conservation is to understand the drivers that govern the population establishment of different groups of species in different urban ecosystems. Here, we ask whether and to what extent vascular plant species establishment (i.e., the ability to establish self-sustaining populations within a certain time span) is driven by interactions of species functional traits, native status, and the type of ecosystem species occur in, with types of ecosystems distinguished by their degree of ecosystem novelty. To answer this question, we use a dataset of 1,178 vascular plant species occurring in Berlin, Germany that originally had been compiled to substantiate the Berlin Red List of endangered plant species. This dataset classifies native and non-native species into casual and established species based on a minimum of 25 years of expert observation. Whether a species is established or casual is distinguished among four broad types of ecosystems: natural remnant, hybrid, novel immature, and novel mature ecosystems. Moreover, we classify species into those native to Berlin and non-native species (split into archaeophytes and neophytes), and link species to selected functional traits and indicator values. By applying ordinal regression within a Bayesian framework, we show that traits are key drivers of these establishment processes and that the traits that drive species establishment differ across types of ecosystems. While across traits, more established species are present in natural remnants, low canopy height, annual life span, and late end of flowering specifically promote establishment in novel immature ecosystems. In hybrid ecosystems, low canopy height and reproduction by seeds are beneficial traits, with the latter promoting establishment in novel mature ecosystems, too. Traits were less important in predicting species establishment in native as compared to non-native species. All types of ecosystems add to urban biodiversity, and trait analyses refine our knowledge on how they can be supported in doing so on the long term. This can help in sharpening conservation measures.
... Así pues, nuestra propuesta se basa en considerar la biodiversidad como parte del valor cultural de la ciudad, ligada a la oferta general ofrecida en las ciudades de forma habitual. Sin olvidar, por supuesto, que además las ciudades pueden llegar a ser puntos importantes por la presencia de especies amenazadas en el contexto regional (Ives et al. 2016;Jokimäki et al. 2018). Esto lo tienen ya muy presente los gestores de zoológicos, jardines botánicos o jardines históricos en bastantes ciudades, que intentan promocionarse como polos culturales dentro de la oferta general de museos y actividades culturales (Williams et al. 2015). ...
Article
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La flora de la ciudad de Madrid como modelo para la integración de la conservación de la biodiversidad en el diseño urbanístico Introducción Con la aparición de las ciudades clásicas, aquellas con un des-arrollo urbanístico que se extiende por períodos de varios siglos, se produjo una transformación de los hábitats naturales y una ex-tinción masiva inicial de la biodiversidad (Hahs et al. 2009). La rá-pida extinción inicial fue acompañada además por una tasa de desaparición más o menos constante en las islas seminaturales re-manentes, que se ha achacado a diversas causas más o menos indirectas: alteración del microclima, del régimen de perturbacio-nes, de los ciclos de nutrientes y agua o de la dinámica poblacional (Hahs et al. 2009; Duncan et al. 2011). Con el paso del tiempo, y desde el cambio contemporáneo en los modelos de urbanización hacia una ciudad más dispersa (Otero-Enríquez 2017), la respuesta de la biodiversidad ha sido más compleja, y la extinción inicial ha dejado paso a un tipo de bio-diversidad a todas luces distinta a la inicial (McKinney 2008; Con-cepción et al. 2016). En la actualidad, el rápido crecimiento de la urbanización (Seto et al. 2012; Tudela y Delgado 2018; United Nations 2019) ha incrementado el contacto súbito de las zonas urba-nas y las zonas naturales, muchas ya dotadas de protección (Jones et al. 2018). En este escenario dinámico muchos autores han se-ñalado la necesidad de mejorar las actividades de conservación ur-bana e incluirlas dentro de la planificación urbana general (Goddard et al. 2010; Müller et al. 2013; McDonald 2015; Garrard et al. 2018). Trabajos recientes coinciden en señalar que la planificación actual en las ciudades está falta de unos objetivos medibles y además se encuentra sesgada hacia un enfoque ecosistémico o de restaura-ción de hábitats, siendo pocos los que se centran en la conserva-ción de la biodiversidad (Nilon et al. 2017; Xie y Bulkeley 2020). El objetivo de la presente contribución es proponer un modelo urbano de conservación, en el cual la conservación de la biodiver-sidad urbana se considere, como casi cualquier asunto en las ciu-dades (incluidos los ambientales), como un problema de diseño y aeet ASOCIACIÓN ESPAÑOLA DE ECOLOGÍA TERRESTRE Ecosistemas 31(1): 2182 [Enero-Abril 2022] https://doi. La flora de la ciudad de Madrid como modelo para la integración de la conservación de la biodiversidad en el diseño urbanístico Resumen: La flora de las ciudades no ha sido objeto de demasiada atención conservacionista en el pasado. En este trabajo se ofrece un análisis de las posibilidades de conservación de la biodiversidad vegetal en el medio urbano valorando algunas herramientas desarrolladas por la Biología de la Conservación: áreas protegidas, reintroducciones, hábitats artificiales, arboricultura y jardinería. Después, se utiliza la flora de la ciudad de Madrid como posible modelo de aplicación de las medidas conservacionistas generales expuestas. Se mencionan algunas de las extinciones locales mejor documentadas en la ciudad y se propone el uso de distintos tipos de microrreservas (estratégicas, potenciales o de novo, y de extrarradio) para intentar evitar extinciones adicionales en el futuro. Se concluye con una propuesta novedosa de estrategia de gestión de la biodiversidad con-sistente en el encaje biótico dentro del planeamiento urbanístico general de las ciudades. El encaje biótico persigue, entre otros objetivos, incorporar a técnicos en biodiversidad en las plantillas locales de las ciudades para alcanzar una gestión más completa de las áreas verdes urbanas. Palabras clave: conservación de la biodiversidad urbana; extinciones; flora urbana; microrreservas urbanas; plantas amenazadas Madrid flora as a model system for engaging biodiversity conservation in urban planning Abstract: The conservation of urban floras has not been of special concern in the past. We analyzed some of the most important tools that Conservation Biology currently offers to protect urban plant biodiversity: protected areas, species reintroductions, man-made habitats management and horticulture. Then, we use the flora of the city of Madrid as a model to test conservation measures usually employed in more natural settings. We document some of the best-known examples of local extinctions in the city. We proposed three types of micro-reserves for urban plant conservation: strategic micro-reserves, de novo micro-reserves and, outskirts micro-reserves. We conclude with a new urban biodiversity conservation strategy proposal that focus on the biotic fit in urban planning. Among other objectives, we stress the need to incorporate conservation biologists into public urban agencies.
... At the same time, studies have shown that when spatial planners intervene to create, expand, enhance or protect green and blue elements, cities provide habitat for many native plant and animal species, including a number of endangered species, highlighting the under-utilised urban opportunities for biodiversity conservation (e.g. Ives et al., 2016;Planchuelo et al., 2019). Therefore, there is a growing consensus that cities and metropolitan regions are one of the most promising policy arenas for fostering transformative change towards a 'good Anthropocene' where both people and nature thrive (Alberti et al., 2020;Elmqvist et al., 2019;Jeanson et al., 2020;McPhearson et al., 2021;Nagendra, 2016). ...
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Nature-based solutions (NBS) represent the most recent of several "greening" concepts proposed to support spatial planning and decision-making towards sustainable metropolitan regions. Despite similarities, the concepts stem from different disciplines and policy arenas and reflect various models of people-nature relations. This paper aims to analyze the uptake of greening concepts in scientific planning literature focusing on (urban) nature and landscape in the metropolitan region of Stockholm, Sweden, over the last three decades. It investigates what changes this evolution has brought in terms of the topics adopted, methods applied, and types of planning support put into practice. We identified 574 articles that reflect substantial research on greening concepts in the Swedish planning context. The articles demonstrate an initial prevalence of biodiversity with later increases of interest in ecosystem services and NBS. A detailed analysis of the studies focusing on Stockholm revealed Population growth/densification, Green space management and Biodiversity conservation as the most commonly addressed societal challenges. The most frequently mentioned type of green and blue element is Parks and (semi-)natural urban green areas, including urban forests. Methods applied were mostly quantitative, while mixes with qualitative approaches were only apparent in ecosystem services articles. Half of the studies involved practitioners or decision-makers, but only four seemed related to real-life planning processes. Taken together, the influence of scientific literature on the uptake of greening concepts in spatial planning seems to have been limited. Future mainstreaming of greening concepts in Stockholm and beyond could benefit from available data, methods and experiences, but will require more active translation and boundary management. Further research into science-policy-planning interfaces at city scale is thus imperative to advance more sustainable pathways for people and nature in metropolitan regions.
... Although the problem of animal mortality in discarded containers seems to be common wherever the waste appearsincluding coastal sand dunes, deserts, forests of which many are legally protected (Poeta et al., 2015;Kolenda et al., 2021a)special attention should be paid to habitats that are highly penetrated by humans and at the same time often inhabited by a considerable diversity of animals, such as urban green areas and municipal woodlands. They are considered hotspots for local diversity (Croci et al., 2008), and may became a refuge for threatened species (Ives et al., 2016;De Andrade et al., 2019). Furthermore, urban woodlands provide many ecosystem services (Livesley et al., 2016). ...
Article
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Nowadays, littering is one of the biggest challenges that environmental conservation is facing. Although beverage containers, such as bottles and cans, belong to the most common threats in this context, their effect on animals has been poorly studied. The aim of this study was to assess the diversity and mortality level of the animal taxa entering discarded containers and to investigate which container features influence the number and functional composition of the trapped animals. The study was conducted in 10 urban woodlands in the city of Wrocław, Poland. In total, 939 open containers were collected. In 56% of them, a total number of 10,162 dead individuals (10,139 invertebrates and 23 vertebrates) was found. The most common amongst them were insects (orders: Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera), malacostracans (Isopoda), arachnids (Opiliones, Sarcoptiformes) and gastropods (Stylommatophora). The number of dead animals was affected positively by the container capacity and was significantly higher in glass and plastic bottles when compared to aluminium cans. At the same time, the presence of a neck negatively affected the number of dead animals. Container capacity was also positively correlated with the abundance of the most common functional groups: predators, phytophages and saprophages. Moreover, colourless and green, but not brown, containers were a significant predictor for the abundance of the latter two groups. Our study revealed that discarded containers constitute an ecological trap for many groups of animals. There is an urgent need to reduce the amount of rubbish in the environment by, for example, the implementation of regional and international regulations addressing the problem of littering, or organising repeated clean-up and educational activities.
... Urban areas are nowadays a hotspot for threatened species (Ives et al., 2016) and species conservation in these areas can be seen as a practical response to mitigate the loss of species globally (Kowarik, 2011). This is resulting in significant efforts in habitat creation to counteract biodiversity loss in rural and agricultural environments (Knapp et al., 2008). ...
Article
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Designing green infrastructure in cities requires vegetation that has multiple outcomes and functions, particularly using plants that have both attractive visual or aesthetic features and high biodiversity values. Plantings that have high visual appeal are more highly valued by people and increase their feeling of wellbeing. Increasing biodiversity in cities is one of the major challenges facing urban planning and design. However, balancing biodiversity and aesthetic outcomes in urban planting design is complex, and to date there are few methods that can be used to guide plant selection. To address this knowledge gap, we investigated the use of a colour theory framework for planting arrangements to see if we could design vegetation that is highly aesthetic and has high biodiversity. We did this by configuring planting combinations for living walls in Malmö, Sweden, using principles based on Johannes Itten’s colour theories. The plant combinations on each wall were graphically arranged using (1) colour analysis of each plant and (2) design of the plant species into two colour schemes: light-dark colour concept and a complementary colour concept. For each species used in the compositions we created a biodiversity classification, based on its pollination value, “nativeness” and conservation value as a cultivar; and a plant visual quality classification, based on the performance from living walls studies. The graphical colour composition and interlinked biodiversity value were then compared to designs created with randomly selected plant species. The results showed that it is possible to design a living wall based on colour theory without compromising with biodiversity outcomes, namely species richness, pollination and the nativeness of the species. The results also indicate the potential application of this design approach to deliver greater aesthetic appreciation and enjoyment from plantings. While more work is needed, this study has shown that a theoretical colour framework can be a useful tool in designing green infrastructure to improve delivery of both cultural and regulatory ecosystem services.
... The first focal area is about responding to climate change. Australian cities are hotspots for threatened biodiversity, yet Australia's urban habitats are also degraded by invasive species, and as climate change impacts shift urban environments, questions of how to plan ecological restoration and conservation arise (Ives et al., 2016;Threlfall et al., 2019). The second one is about urbanisation processes and their relationships with nature-based solutions. ...
... Ces conditions constituent des filtres écologiques plus ou moins forts qui vont déterminer la diversité des formes de vie que l'on rencontre en ville (Aronson et al., 2016;Pearse et al., 2018). En effet, malgré ces conditions urbaines particulières, les villes peuvent être riches en biodiversité, voire en espèces menacées (Aronson et al., 2014;Ives et al., 2016). À Blois, on rencontre ainsi 307 espèces végétales sur les trottoirs de la ville, ce qui représente 1/5 de la biodiversité végétale de toute la région Centre (Bonthoux et al., 2019). ...
Conference Paper
In ecology, urban descriptions are mainly based on the concept of the "urban-rural" gradient: cities would be organized into dense urban centers, surrounded by increasingly less dense concentric areas. In order to improve the consideration of the urban mosaic and to better understand the distribution of plants, we propose a methodology of description at the scale of the construction of the city, the city-block. This morphological and functional description was applied to the city of Blois and has served as a support for the comprehension of the diversity and composition of plant communitites, with a focus on the areas richest in vegetation. Résumé - En écologie, les descriptions urbaines reposent majoritairement sur le concept du gradient « urbain-rural » : les villes seraient organisées autour de centres urbains denses, entourés de zones concentriques de moins en moins denses. Pour améliorer la prise en compte de la mosaïque urbaine et mieux appréhender la distribution des plantes, nous proposons une méthodologie de description à l'échelle de construction de la ville, l'îlot urbain. Cette description morphologique et fonctionnelle est déclinée sur la ville de Blois et a servi de support à la compréhension de la diversité et de la composition des communautés végétales, avec un focus sur les zones les plus riches en végétation.
... As habitat modification [1] and climate change [2] intensify globally, urban environments are becoming the best or only available habitats for fauna [3], with wildlife increasingly being found to reside in them [4][5][6][7][8]. Wildlife diversity and threatened species may nonetheless be under pressure from rapid urbanisation, especially in remnant habitats proximal to urban areas [1,9,10]. ...
Article
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Wildlife are increasingly being found in urban habitats, and likely rely on some resources in suburban household yards, which exposes them to the effects of yard management and human and pet activities. We compared the relationships between these potential disturbances and benefits to the number of different types of wildlife sighted by householders, using written surveys. Owing to the inability of many household respondents to identify animals to the species or genus level, each different ‘type’ of animal individually listed was counted to generate the total number of types of wildlife observed by each household. We found that relatively more types of wildlife were observed by residents whose yards provided ease of faunal access under or through fences, had reduced pesticide use, increased levels of anthropogenic noise, and increased presence of pets in yards. The latter two associations likely relate to the increased opportunities to observe wildlife in yards that each creates. We also investigated the use of yards by wildlife and domestic pets in open compared to more vegetated habitats by day and night, using motion-sensor cameras. All animals observed were compared to the activity of introduced brown and black rats (Rattus norvegicus, R. rattus), owing to their wild origins but long commensal history with humans. Camera images indicated that animals’ natural activity periods were maintained in yards. Brown antechinuses (Antechinus stuartii), northern brown bandicoots (Isoodon macrourus), domestic cats (Felis catus) and native birds (species as listed below) each preferred sheltered or vegetated habitats over open habitats, when compared to the introduced rats that showed little habitat preference. However, unlike the other species, the native birds used open areas more than vegetated or sheltered areas when compared within their group only. The common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) was observed to use open areas comparatively more than the introduced rats, but used vegetated or sheltered habitats more when compared to self only. The domestic dog (Canis familiaris) and red fox (Vulpes vulpes) used open areas more than vegetated or sheltered areas, when compared to the introduced rats, and against themselves. This indicated a level of coping with urban stressors by the native animals, but with a reliance on more vegetated habitats to allow for natural stress-relieving behaviours of escape or hiding. Here, we offer insights into how each of these findings may be used to help educate and motivate increased household responsibility for urban wildlife conservation.
... Estos ecosistemas presentan una serie de elementos, como los recursos tróficos predecibles o una gran variedad de sustratos de nidificación, que han atraído a las aves desde sus primeros asentamientos (Seress y Liker 2015;Negro et al. 2020). Tanto es así que las ciudades contemporáneas albergan, además de especies en expansión o cosmopolitas, especies endémicas o en declive (Aronson et al. 2014) y, en algunos casos, contienen más especies amenazadas que su entorno natural (Ives et al. 2016). Cabe destacar que más del 20% de especies de aves reconocidas en el mundo han sido detectadas en las ciudades (Aronson et al. 2014). ...
Article
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Desde los primeros asentamientos humanos permanentes del Holoceno, hace 10 000 años, hasta las ciudades contemporáneas, las aves han cohabitado con los seres humanos. En las últimas décadas la urbanización ha crecido exponencialmente en el planeta y, en 2030, más del 60% de la población mundial vivirá en zonas urbanas. En función de su tolerancia a la urbanización las aves se clasifican en tres categorías: evitadoras, adaptadoras o explotadoras urbanas. Las ciudades occidentales contemporáneas atraen a las aves por la presencia de recursos tróficos abundantes y predecibles, la reducción en la diversidad de depredadores o la provisión de estructuras donde ubicar los nidos, entre otras. Sin embargo, la urbanización es uno de los mayores problemas actuales para la biodiversidad y el modelo de ciudad contemporánea puede dejar de ser atractivo para las aves e incluso causar el declive a ciertas especies ligadas a medios urbanos. Algunas razones que explican este proceso son: la gestión urbana y la pérdida de zonas verdes, la contaminación, la comida antropogénica y las nuevas tendencias arquitectónicas. Un cambio en el modelo de ciudad contemporánea que proteja la biodiversidad, aunque es un reto difícil, es posible siguiendo ejemplos como el de la infraestructura verde y sostenibilidad ambiental de la ciudad de Vitoria-Gasteiz (España).
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Climate change adaptation is essential to mitigate risks, such as extreme weather events triggered by global warming and amplified in dense urban environments. Ecosystem-based adaptation measures, such as urban greening, are promoted in cities because of their flexibility and their positive side effects, such as human health benefits, ecological effects, climate mitigation and a range of social benefits. While individual co-benefits of greening measures are well studied, often in public green spaces, few studies quantify co-benefits comprehensively, leaving social benefits particularly understudied. In this study, we perform biophysical and socio-cultural assessments of co-benefits provided by semi-public, residential greening in four courtyards with varying green structures. We quantify effects on thermal comfort, biodiversity, carbon storage and social interaction. We further assess the importance of these co-benefits to people in the neighbourhood. Subsequently, we weight the results from the biophysical assessments with the socio-cultural values to evaluate how even small differences in green structures result in differences in the provision of co-benefits. Results show that, despite relatively small differences in green structures, the residential courtyards with a higher green volume clearly generate more co-benefits than the residential yards with less green, particularly for thermal comfort. Despite differences in the valuation of co-benefits in the neighbourhood, socio-cultural weights did not change the outcome of the comparative assessment. Our results highlight that a deliberate management strategy, possibly on neighbourhood-scale, could enhance co-benefits and contribute to a more sustainable urban development.
Article
Native bees are declining in many regions, often associated with loss of natural habitat. Urbanisation replaces natural vegetation with a highly-modified landscape, where residential gardens are a major component of urban greenspace. While many cities retain native vegetation remnants within the urban matrix, these are often small, isolated and degraded. However, there is little empirical evidence on the capacity of residential gardens to provide equivalent or beneficial habitat for native bees, and which local and landscape factors influence bee assemblages. We surveyed bee assemblages in the southwest Australian biodiversity hotspot at seven residential gardens and seven bushland remnants over two years. We recorded 153 species/morphospecies of native bees. Native bees were more abundant in bushland remnants than residential gardens. Abundance of the introduced honeybee Apis mellifera was generally high, and did not differ between habitats. Bushland remnants hosted more species, and rare and unique species, than did residential gardens. Native bee body-size and nesting guilds varied in their response to habitat type. Native bee abundance and richness increased with abundance of native plant species, but decreased with total flower species richness. Native bee species richness was negatively impacted by urbanisation (built space and isolation from bushland reserves). There were no significant relationships between honeybee abundance and local and landscape factors. Our study demonstrates that while residential gardens can host native bees, urban bushland remnants harbour a more comprehensive suite of species and are key for the conservation of native bee populations.
Article
Urbanization provides both challenges and opportunities for biodiversity conservation, but patterns of urban plant diversity across land uses, especially in Asian countries, remains unclear. To determine these patterns of diversity, woody plants in 174 sample quadrats across various land use types in Kyoto City were investigated. Richness, abundance, and evenness were evaluated at city, land use, and quadrat scales, and biodiversity of different land use types was compared. At the city level, 223 species in 77 families were recorded. At the land use level, residential areas had the highest total biological richness, with moderate to low evenness, while commercial areas exhibited low richness. At the quadrat level, the low-rise residential area had higher species richness than the other land uses. Species abundance and evenness in quadrats were significantly different across land use types for the canopy layer but not for the understory. The results provide insights into urban biodiversity design and management by identifying prior land uses for biodiversity improvement and by highlighting the contribution of residential private yards. Urban heterogeneity, scale, and multidimensionality should be considered when measuring urban biodiversity.
Article
Although research has been done in order to understand the impact of urban development on avian diversity, it mainly focused on taxonomic diversity. Here we aimed to assess biodiversity targeting beyond species richness since this has the potential to inform the conservation of healthy functioning ecosystem. We explored how functional and phylogenetic diversity vary between a protected area and urban green spaces. We collected avian data at Lake Chivero Park and six green spaces in the city of Harare, Zimbabwe. The avian point count method at 30 sites for each location (Harare and Lake Chivero Park) was conducted. Alpha diversity indices were compared between Harare and Lake Chivero Park using independent t-test. One-way analysis of variance was applied to test for variation in functional and phylogenetic beta-diversity metrics together with the respective standardized effect size. Urban green spaces had higher species richness, abundance, phylogenetic and functional diversity than Lake Chivero Park. Beta diversity between the two sites was much higher than within sites diversity. The two sites did not differ in terms of beta diversity. Our study shows that urban development that incorporates green spaces maybe critical in the conservation of functional and phylogenetic diversity of avifauna. We suggest that urban landscapes be considered in national and regional conservation plans since they can act as conduits between protected areas, especially for avifauna.
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Lebanon is a Mediterranean country that has a high plant diversity attributed to thousands of years of disturbances. During the 20th century, however, with more than half the population living along the Lebanese coast, one third of the coastal plant habitats were destroyed. The causes for such destruction include uncontrolled urban expansion and unregulated tourism development due to long-term political unrest, high real estate value, widespread littering, invasive species, and climate change. As a result, the persistence of Lebanese national and regional endemic coastal plant species is threatened. Examples of threatened species include national endemics such as Limonium postii, Limonium mouterdei, Matthiola crassifolia, and regional endemics such as Thymelaea hirsuta, Artemisia monosperma, and Retama raetam, Pancratium maritimum, in addition to annual species including Trifolium billardierei Spreng, Rumex occultans, Campanula sulphurea, Silene chaetodonta var. modesta, and Astragalus berytheus. Two national studies defined Important Plant Areas (IPAs) along the coast. This process however is not binding, it informs policy makers but may not lead to the conservation of defined areas. National efforts to conserve coastal plant habitats include the declaration of two coastal areas as nature reserves by the government, and the revival of the traditional Hima system of protection and its application in one coastal area by a national NGO. Additionally, research contributions have characterized floristic richness along the coast, proposed a new concept of botanic garden (ancillary botanic gardens) for ex-situ conservation, developed a tool to assess riparian habitats (RiHAT), and a new approach to identify urban green spaces that may serve as habitat analogs for plant species of conservation interest.
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ContextThe process of urbanisation results in dramatic landscape changes with long-lasting and sometimes irreversible consequences for the biota. Urban sensitive species can be eliminated from the landscape, while urban tolerant species can persist in or colonise the changed environment. Objectives Here we used historical atlas data to examine the changing distribution of the Australian Brush-turkey, a recent urban colonising species, at continental and city scales, and the changing land use in urban areas occupied by the species. Methods We assessed changes at the continental scale from 1839-2019. We then assessed colonisation of the cities of Sydney and Brisbane, located 900 km apart, over the period 1960-2019. At the city scale, we quantified the changing land use within Brush-turkey occupied areas over time using classification of satellite imagery. ResultsThe Brush-turkey range has shifted over the last century, with the species receding from the western and southwestern proportions of their range, while expanding in the northwest. Areas occupied in both cities have expanded, with recently colonised areas containing less vegetation and more developed land. Conclusions Our results confirm that Brush-turkeys are successfully colonising urban areas, including major cities, and are likely to continue moving into urban areas, despite declines elsewhere in their natural range. This study highlights that species which were locally extirpated from urban areas and thought to be an unlikely candidate for recolonisation can adapt to human modified habitats; successful expansion is likely to be associated with urban greening and legal protection from human persecution.
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Urban green spaces (UGS) enhance the quality of life in urban environments and serve as habitat corridors or refuge for organisms, including beetles and spiders. The attributes of UGS allow them to harbour species that offer essential ecosystem services. However, the ability of UGS to provide services is limited by the extent to which they have been altered anthropogenically. We described the taxonomic richness and functional composition of arthropods in a mountainous urban ecosystem of Ghana by focussing on the activity of both beetles and spiders at the family level. Two main land-use types (woodlands and built-up areas) were identified and characterised based on the presence or absence of certain vegetation attributes. Sixteen plots in each land-use type with sizes 20 × 20 m were demarcated and fitted with four pitfall traps in each plot to sample continuously for eight weeks, the activity density of both beetles and spiders. Samples were sorted into families and functional groups (detritivores, fungivores, herbivory and predators). The taxonomic richness and activity density were both significantly higher in the woodlands than in the built-up areas. Similarly, all functional groups showed a higher affinity to the woodlands than the built-up areas. Habitat attributes defined by plant diversity and structural complexity were the underlying drivers explaining the differences in arthropod communities between the land-use types. Though the built-up areas seem degraded and open, the remaining small vegetation patches still support the activities of some taxa that should merit the protection of such remnant vegetation in urban ecosystems.
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Global urban expansion has multiple impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Still, urban centers may play an important role in the conservation of reptiles, an undersampled, megadiverse, and unevenly distributed group especially vulnerable to anthropogenic impacts. However, major gaps in research on urban ecology of reptiles and species responses to urbanisation persist, which may limit our capacity to guide suitable conservation policies. We conducted a global systematic literature review to evaluate biogeographic, taxonomic and ecological biases in urban ecology of reptiles, and ultimately to detect major gaps and steer future sampling efforts. Our database comprised 278 articles dealing with biological responses to urbanisation of 493 species across 45 countries and 12 biomes, comprising 658 cases between a given species and a specific biological response. Research on urban ecology of reptiles was geographically and taxonomically biased. Developed countries within temperate regions were better sampled, while developing tropical and megadiverse countries were mostly undersampled or neglected. Among reptile orders, Testudines and Crocodylia were proportionally more studied than Squamata. Across lower groups within Squamata, lizards were present in most studies and were the biological model most commonly used. Studies evaluating biological responses associated with landscape-level processes, behaviour, and/or population dynamics were prevalent, whereas conservation, human-reptile conflicts and wildlife management were the least considered topics. Our results show that research on urban ecology of reptiles is unevenly distributed across regions and lineages. Overcoming these major gaps is an important step toward the improvement of conservation of reptiles worldwide under the upcoming biodiversity loss scenario. Beyond spreading sampling effort across undersampled countries, taxa and research topics to meet conservation objectives, we recommend more multidisciplinary approaches to evaluate and compare the actual performance of reptiles in urban environments and to achieve the equilibrium between human well-being and species conservation.
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The development of ecological sustainability within cities requires raising awareness among citizens of the importance of biodiversity for their daily lives. We evaluated the biodiversity awareness of high school students and their families, working with two schools in Guayllabamba, part of the Metropolitan District of Quito, Ecuador. A total of 405 people answered a survey to evaluate their knowledge about basic biological concepts, urban biodiversity and environmental awareness. People in Guayllabamba have some biodiversity knowledge, mainly for domestic or human-related species, with emphasis on those with direct human uses (food and medicine). The surveyed citizens showed a positive environmental awareness attitude, they consider biodiversity important and use it in their lives. However, we identified gaps in which environmental education should focus for clarifying concepts like “endemic”, “native” or “wild”. Ecosystem contribution of biodiversity is neither well understood. Our results point out AN utilitarian knowledge of nature that can be related to a periurban area where agriculture and farmland still have important presence, and where the daily contact with biodiversity remains. The reinforcement of biological awareness driven by environmental education may be a key component to promote environmentally friendly urban development in the area.
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Nature-based solutions (NBS) were introduced as integrated, multifunctional and multi-beneficial solutions to a wide array of socio-ecological challenges. Although principles for a common understanding and implementation of NBS were already developed on a landscape scale, specific principles are needed with regard to an application in urban areas. Urban areas come with particular challenges including (i) spatial conflicts with urban system nestedness, (ii) specific urban biodiversity, fragmentation and altered environments, (iii) value plurality, multi-actor interdependencies and environmental injustices, (iv) path-dependencies with cultural and planning legacies and (v) a potential misconception of cities as being artificial landscapes disconnected from nature. Given these challenges, in this perspective paper, we build upon and integrate knowledge from the most recent academic work on NBS in urban areas and introduce five distinct, integrated principles for urban NBS design, planning and implementation. Our five principles should help to transcend governance gaps and advance the scientific discourse of urban NBS towards a more effective and sustainable urban development. To contribute to resilient urban futures, the design, planning, policy and governance of NBS should (1) consider the need for a systemic understanding, (2) contribute to benefiting people and biodiversity, (3) contribute to inclusive solutions for the long-term, (4) consider context conditions and (5) foster communication and learning.
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Urban aquatic ecosystems are important sources of fresh water for multiple uses, but often receive a point or diffuse anthropic contamination. Benthic and zooplankton invertebrates are sensitive to water quality, being good indicators of ecosystem health. In this study, the composition and structure of benthic and zooplankton communities and environmental variables were analyzed seasonally in six urban wetlands of Santa Fe City (Argentina). We present the effect of water quality on both communities as bioindicators of ecological conditions, using different community attributes, functional feeding groups, and biotic indices. For the benthic community, the Macroinvertebrate Index for Pampean Rivers (IMRP) and the Benthic Community Index (BCI) were selected. For the zooplankton community, abundance of rotifers/abundance of total zooplankters, microcrustaceans/total zooplankters, cladocerans/total zooplankters, and macrozooplankton/microzooplankton ratios were applied. A functional feeding groups (FFGs) classification, adapted from the literature, is proposed for zooplankters. The urban wetlands showed a gradient from the most to the least disturbed sites. Some benthic and zooplankton species were identified as excellent bioindicators of pollution, and the FFGs and biotic indices revealed the ecological condition of each urban wetland. The present study contributes to the enhancement of management practices in urban landscapes aiming to maintain ecosystem services in sustainable cities. Keywords: urban water quality; zoobenthos; zooplankton; functional feeding groups; biotic indices; sustainable cities
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The main effort to secure threatened species globally is to set aside land and sea for their conservation via governance arrangements such as protected areas. But not even the biggest protected area estate will cover enough area to halt most species declines. Consequently, there is a need for assessments of how species habitats are distributed across the tenure landscape, to guide policy and conservation opportunities. Using Australia as a case study, we assess the relationship between land tenure coverage and the distributions of nationally listed threatened species. We discover that on average, nearly half (48%) of Australian threatened species' distributions occur on privately owned (freehold) lands, despite this tenure covering only 29% of the continent. In contrast, leasehold lands, which cover 38% of Australia, overlap with only 6% of species' distributions while protected area lands (which cover 20%) have an average of 35% of species' distributions. We found the majority (75%; n = 1199) of species occur across multiple land tenures, and those species that are confined to a single tenure were mostly on freehold lands (13%; n = 201) and protected areas (9%; n = 139). Our findings display the opportunity to reverse the current trend of species decline with increased coordination of threat management across land tenures. We quantify the overlap of threatened species with land tenure across Australia. On average, half of threatened species' distributions occur on freehold lands and three‐quarter of the species occur across multiple land tenures.
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Urbanization presents an unplanned and highly replicated global experiment to understand biotic responses to global changes. Here we conducted a global analysis on patterns and drivers of urbanization effects on biodiversity using the global amphibian richness dataset along with background climate and the continuous rural-urban gradients. We, for the first time, empirically generalized the urbanizational gradients of amphibian richness at the global scale and in different climate zones despite the substantial differences in history, ecological context, and socioeconomic conditions across large geospatial extents. We found a positive imprint of urbanization on amphibian richness in cool and climate zones whereas the presence of urban thermal stress in high temperature climate zones. Anthropogenic forces behind the urbanization gradients entangled with environmental variables directly and indirectly drove the patterns as revealed by the structural equation modeling (SEM). The urbanizational diversity gradient (UDG) found in this study might signify the existence of another general principle in ecology analogous to well-known latitudinal and elevational diversity gradients. We proposed the heat-and-threat balance (HATB) hypothesis to explain UDG: urbanization-induced heat would promote biodiversity if the ambient temperatures are cooler than their optima. Alternatively, it may put threats on biodiversity when the ambient temperatures are close to their optima. There is an urgent need to advance the knowledge on UDG in an urbanizing planet by additional studies from diverse taxa, various geographical locations, and at different scales.
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Loss of natural habitat through land‐use change threatens bees. Urbanisation is a major, increasing form, of habitat loss, and a novel, pervasive form of disturbance known to impact bee diversity and abundance in a variety of often inconsistent ways. We conducted a comprehensive, semi‐quantitative review, involving 215 studies, on responses of bees to urban landscapes, and local and landscape variables proposed to influence bee abundance and diversity. Urban areas tend to be favourable habitat for bees compared with agricultural ones, but compared with natural areas, urban areas often host more abundant populations yet fewer species. Factors associated with urban landscapes, including changes in foraging resources and nesting substrate types and availability, contribute to changes in abundance, species richness, and composition of native bee assemblages. However, the conclusions of studies vary greatly because of the difference in the ecological traits of bees, habitats surveyed, and geographic region, as well as noise in the data resulting from inconsistencies in sampling methodology, and definitions of ‘urban’ and ‘natural’. Identifying what biotic and abiotic features of cityscapes promote or threaten the persistence of urban bee diversity is critical. We provide a comprehensive evaluation of how bees (both in aggregate and according to their ecological guild) have responded to the urban environment, identify gaps in knowledge in urban bee ecology, and make recommendations to advance our understanding of bees in urban environments to promote conservation of diverse bee communities. Reviewing 215 studies, factors associated with urban landscapes, including changes in foraging and nesting resources, contribute to changes in abundance, species richness, and composition of native bee assemblages. Urban areas tend to be favourable habitat for bees compared with agricultural ones, but compared with natural areas, urban areas often host more abundant populations yet fewer species. Seven key knowledge gaps are identified, and recommendations on how to advance urban bee conservation.
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The urban ecological network has gained substantial interest in the context of urban sustainable development research in recent years. It guides the optimization of the urban ecological spatial layout, which is an important means for inventory development and ecological construction. However, traditional construction methods may not be suitable for urban environments with complex matrices. This can result in the inaccurate extraction of urban ecological networks. This study aimed to improve understanding of the current distribution and composition of key elements in urban ecological networks. In the present study, an optimized evaluation method involving ecological source patches and resistance surfaces was used to identify and extract an urban ecological network. The Minhang District (MhD) of Shanghai formed the study area. The results showed that: (1) There was spatial heterogeneity in habitat quality and the location importance of cores in the MhD. These two factors were inconsistent with the area size. (2) The habitat quality for the same land use types were significantly different. This was because of both vegetation quality and the external environment. (3) The urban ecological network for the MhD had 82 source patches. These were unevenly distributed and mainly concentrated in Pudong. (4) A total of 133 least-cost paths were extracted from between the source patches. However, the cost of least-cost paths were generally high in Puxi. This was not conducive to forming functional connections between patches. This study provided an optimization method for identifying and extracting ecological networks in urban areas by combining Geographical Information System software (GIS), Guidos, Graphab, and the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) model. Ecological indicators such as NDVI, the percentage variation of the probability of connectivity (dPC), and habitat quality were applied to improve accuracy. The study findings lay the foundation for further layout optimization and supporting ecological planning.
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Understanding the biomass, characteristics, and carbon sequestration of urban forests is crucial for maintaining and improving the quality of life and ensuring sustainable urban planning. Approaches to urban forest management have been incorporated into interdisciplinary, multifunctional, and technical efforts. In this review, we evaluate recent developments in urban forest research methods, compare the accuracy and efficiency of different methods, and identify emerging themes in urban forest assessment. This review focuses on urban forest biomass estimation and individual tree feature detection, showing that the rapid development of remote sensing technology and applications in recent years has greatly benefited the study of forest dynamics. Included in the review are light detection and ranging-based techniques for estimating urban forest biomass, deep learning algorithms that can extract tree crowns and identify tree species, methods for measuring large canopies using unmanned aerial vehicles to estimate forest structure, and approaches for capturing street tree information using street view images. Conventional methods based on field measurements are highly beneficial for accurately recording species-specific characteristics. There is an urgent need to combine multi-scale and spatiotemporal methods to improve urban forest detection at different scales.
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1. Urbanization, and the drastic loss of habitat it entails, poses a major threat to global avian biodiversity. Ecological restoration of urban forests is therefore increasingly vital for native bird conservation, but control of invasive predators may also be needed to sustain native bird populations in cities where species invasions have been particularly severe. 2. We evaluated restoration success by investigating changes in native bird communities along a restoration chronosequence of 25 restored urban forests representing 72 years of forest development, which we compared to two target reference systems and a control system. We hypothesized that total species richness and relative abundance of native forest birds would increase with the age of restoration planting. We further hypothesized that relative abundance of rats, possums and cats would negatively impact native birds, while amount of native forest in the surrounding landscape would have a positive effect. 3. We used structural equation modelling (SEM) to investigate the relative influence of forest structure (complexity index, tree height, canopy openness, basal area, species richness, density), landscape attributes (patch area, perimeter length, landscape composition within three buffer zones, distance to the nearest road and water source) and invasive mammalian predator indices of relative abundance on total species richness and relative abundance of native forest birds. 4. Species richness increased with age of restoration planting, with community composition progressing towards that found in target reference systems. SEM revealed that years restored was a direct driver of bird species richness but an indirect driver of abundance, which was directly driven by canopy openness. Contrary to our predictions, invasive mammals had no significant effect on native bird species richness or abundance. 5. Our results demonstrate that provision and improvement of habitat quantity and quality through restoration is the vital first step to re‐establishing native forest bird communities in cities.
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Although urbanization can lead to habitat loss and biodiversity decline, it has also helped certain declining species recover by providing resources such as food or shelter. Chimney Swifts (Chaetura pelagica) are migratory aerial insectivores that adapted to use masonry chimneys as nesting and communal roosting sites after European colonization and subsequent widespread forest loss. These structures are now becoming obsolete and are being removed or capped, which again threatens the habitat availability for this declining species. In this study, we describe the autumn roosting dynamics of a system of urban roost sites in Asheville, North Carolina, USA, a fast-growing mid-sized city situated in the central Atlantic migratory flyway. Using historical community science records, we first compiled a list of chimneys within city limits that were known to be used as communal roosting sites during the autumn roosting season. We measured physical and environmental characteristics of these chimneys and related them to current and historical patterns of roost use. We found that a combination of chimney height and limited tree canopy cover within 50 m of the chimney explained much of the variation in maximum roost size. In the autumn of 2020, we surveyed most of these sites, many of them several times throughout the season, to understand site-specific use, timing, and roost size during the migration season. Roost sites were used sequentially rather than concurrently throughout the migration season: some roosts formed and dissipated early in the study period, other roosts did not form until later in the season and were larger than the earlier roosts, and some were occupied continuously until the last swifts departed the study area. Our study shows that (1) post-breeding and migratory swifts may choose communal roost sites based on certain characteristics, and (2) these roost sites may serve different roles for different populations of swifts during the autumn migration season, which has conservation implications for this declining species. Received 3 August 2021. Accepted 26 February 2022.
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The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) provides an overarching federal umbrella for environmental decision-making in Australia. The Act contains many complex and novel legal concepts, the interpretation of which dramatically enlarge or constrain the nature and width of its application in practice. Key concepts such as "action", "existing lawful use", "likely to have", "significant impact", and "all adverse impacts" are central to the operation of the Act. A number of these concepts have received important judicial consideration by the Federal Court of Australia. The aim of this article is to explain these key concepts in light of the developing case law.
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The Grey-headed Flying-fox Pteropus poliocephalus has an expansive range. However, the species actually occupies a relatively restricted and continuously changing habitat area, which is primarily defined by irregular patterns of nectar availability. A synchronous count of Grey-headed Flying-foxes in New South Wales taken in July 1998 described the distribution and abundance of the species during a time of general food scarcity, but when abundant floral resources were available in restricted patches of coastal vegetation. The population was highly concentrated into small habitat areas associated with this flowering. The species occupied 11 camps which were located at irregular intervals along the coast, north from the Sydney region. Over 99% of the New South Wales population occurred in nine camps. The total abundance of animals in the state was estimated at 85 400. These results vary substantially from recent estimations which placed the size of the New South Wales population at one million animals. Black Flying-foxes occupied seven camps at the time of the count and their abundance was estimated at 72 500. Periods of concentration are periods of vulnerability for migratory species and present appropriate circumstances in which to examine their conservation status. Critical winter habitat used by Grey-headed Flying-foxes at the time of this study is poorly reserved, primarily occurs on privately-owned land and is located in areas targeted for urban and rural residential development to cater for an ongoing, rapid increase in human population. The conclusion drawn from this study was that Grey-headed Flying-foxes are vulnerable to population decline from the ongoing clearing of their critical over-wintering habitat in lowland coastal vegetation in north-east New South Wales and south-east Queensland. These results support their listing as Vulnerable in the 1999 Action Plan for Australian Bats.
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Conservation in the City is challenging because of a continued view that the urban realm is antithetical to nature. This was clearly the case when the first Swiss National Park was established at the beginning of the 20th century. New Swiss legislation brought new approaches to the establishment of natural parks, in particular by including human activities as a logical component in their development. In 2010, a Federal think tank discussed opportunities for launching a new kind of park: the Urban Natural Park. This paper reports an analysis of this discussion, together with the study of the literature dealing with conservation in the City and natural parks. It shows that a clear antagonism between city and nature still remains present, reflected in an implicit hierarchy hidden in the designation of natural parks: wild nature is nominated as the best nature; if not wild, the best nature is identified as rural; if neither wild nor rural, nature is thought not to be the concern of natural park policy. The Swiss Biodiversity Strategy implemented in 2012 is a recent recognition of the importance of urban nature for biodiversity conservation. This recognition, however, condemns urban nature to a special status, situated outside the usual framework of conservation management. I conclude by arguing that anti-urban bias must be addressed because it inhibits effective conservation strategy, prevents the identification of existing environmental qualities of cities and, eventually, has negative impacts on biological conservation outside the city because it fosters urban spreading.
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Urbanization contributes to the loss of the world's biodiversity and the homogenization of its biota. However, comparative studies of urban biodiversity leading to robust generalities of the status and drivers of biodiversity in cities at the global scale are lacking. Here, we compiled the largest global dataset to date of two diverse taxa in cities: birds (54 cities) and plants (110 cities). We found that the majority of urban bird and plant species are native in the world's cities. Few plants and birds are cosmopolitan, the most common being Columba livia and Poa annua. The density of bird and plant species (the number of species per km(2)) has declined substantially: only 8% of native bird and 25% of native plant species are currently present compared with estimates of non-urban density of species. The current density of species in cities and the loss in density of species was best explained by anthropogenic features (landcover, city age) rather than by non-anthropogenic factors (geography, climate, topography). As urbanization continues to expand, efforts directed towards the conservation of intact vegetation within urban landscapes could support higher concentrations of both bird and plant species. Despite declines in the density of species, cities still retain endemic native species, thus providing opportunities for regional and global biodiversity conservation, restoration and education.
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The role of humans in the restoration of ecosystems has been emphasised since its inception. The human dimension of restoration is particularly well established in urban ecosystems because this is where people and nature co-exist. At the same time, the altered biophysical conditions that characterise cities place constraints on restoration in its strictest sense—assisting the recovery of historic ecosystems. Rather than viewing this as a shortcoming, in this paper, we discuss the ways in which such constraints can be viewed as opportunities. There is the chance to broaden traditional conservation and restoration goals for urban settings reflecting peoples’ preferences for nature in their backyards, and in doing so, offer people multiple ways in which to engage with nature. In this paper, we consider four main restoration options—conserve and restore nature at the fringes, restore remnant patches of urban nature, manage novel ecosystems and garden with iconic species—in terms of their potential to contribute to promoting human-nature interactions in urban landscapes. We explore how these options are affected by environmental, economic, social and cultural factors, drawing on examples from cities around the world. Ecological restoration can contribute to the sustainability of urban landscapes, not just in terms of nature conservation, but also by providing opportunities for people to interact with nature and so increase our understanding of how people perceive and value landscapes.
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Many countries rely on formal legislation to protect and plan for the recovery of threatened species. Even though the listing procedures in threatened species legislation are designed to be consistent for all species there is usually a bias in implementing the laws towards charismatic fauna and flora, which leads to uneven allocation of conservation efforts. However, the extent of bias in national threatened species lists is often unknown. Australia is a good example: the list of threatened species under the Environmental Protection and Biological Conservation Act has not been reviewed since 2000, when it was first introduced. We assessed how well this Act represents threatened species across taxonomic groups and threat status, and whether biases exist in the types of species with recovery plans. We found that birds, amphibians and mammals have high levels of threatened species (12–24%) but , 6% of all reptiles and plants and , 0.01% of invertebrates and fish are considered threatened. Similar taxonomic biases are present in the types of species with recovery plans. Although there have been recent improve-ments in the representation of threatened species with recovery plans across taxonomic groups, there are still major gaps between the predicted and listed numbers of threatened species. Because of biases in the listing and recovery planning processes many threatened species may receive little attention regardless of their potential for recovery: a lost opportunity to achieve the greatest conservation impact possible. The Environmental Protection and Biological Conservation Act in Australia needs reform to rectify these biases.
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Urbanization is a leading cause of species loss in the United States because of habitat destruction and frag-mentation. Wetlands can be affected by urbanization and the condition of wetlands can be compared across land use categories. Cypress domes are isolated wetlands dominated by cypress (Taxodium distichum) and often remain in urban areas. The purpose of this study was to quantify the effects of urbanization on cypress dome number, size and spatial pattern through two decades of rapid urbanization in Orlando, Florida, a large city in the southeastern US. Over 3,000 cypress domes, in a region typical of urban growth in the cypress range, were identified in images from 1984. Over a 20-year period, 26 % were destroyed or degraded (i.e., no longer cypress-dominated) and almost half in man-aged forests were degraded, destroyed, or became sur-rounded by urban or agricultural land uses. The smallest and largest cypress domes were lost, leaving only medium-sized wetlands and decreasing landscape-level diversity. Despite the fact that these wetlands are common and par-tially protected by legislation, cypress in isolated wetlands may be at risk from urbanization.
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Although only a small percentage of global land cover, urban areas significantly alter climate, biogeochemistry, and hydrology at local, regional, and global scales. To understand the impact of urban areas on these processes, high quality, regularly updated information on the urban environment?including maps that monitor location and extent?is essential. Here we present results from efforts to map the global distribution of urban land use at 500?m spatial resolution using remotely sensed data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Our approach uses a supervised decision tree classification algorithm that we process using region-specific parameters. An accuracy assessment based on sites from a stratified random sample of 140 cities shows that the new map has an overall accuracy of 93% (k = 0.65) at the pixel level and a high level of agreement at the city scale (R2 = 0.90). Our results (available at http://sage.wisc.edu/urbanenvironment.html) also reveal that the land footprint of cities occupies less than 0.5% of the Earth's total land area.
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Due to human population growth and migration, there will be nearly 2 billion new urban residents by 2030, yet the consequences of both current and future urbanization for biodiversity conservation are poorly known. Here we show that urban growth will have impacts on ecoregions, rare species, and protected areas that are localized but cumulatively significant. Currently, 29 of the world’s 825 ecoregions have over one-third of their area urbanized, and these 29 ecoregions are the only home of 213 endemic terrestrial vertebrate species. Our analyses suggest that 8% of terrestrial vertebrate species on the IUCN Red List are imperiled largely because of urban development. By 2030, 15 additional ecoregions are expected to lose more than 5% of their remaining undeveloped area, and they contain 118 vertebrate species found nowhere else. Of the 779 rare species with only one known population globally, 24 are expected to be impacted by urban growth. In addition, the distance between protected areas and cities is predicted to shrink dramatically in some regions: for example, the median distance from a protected area to a city in Eastern Asia is predicted to fall from 43 km to 23 km by 2030. Most protected areas likely to be impacted by new urban growth (88%) are in countries of low to moderate income, potentially limiting institutional capacity to adapt to new anthropogenic stresses on protected areas. In short, trends in global ecoregions, rare species, and protected areas suggest localized but significant biodiversity degradation associated with current and upcoming urbanization.
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Australia’s transition to the 21st century has been marked by an extended period of economic prosperity unmatched for several decades, but one in which a series of question marks are being raised in three principal areas: in relation to the environment, the social well-being of the population, and the future path of economic development. The first concern, which is of primary interest in this report, relates to the physical environment of cities and their surrounding regions, and the range of pressures exerted by population and human activity. The report begins by noting the increasing divergence of the prime indicator of national economic performance—gross domestic product (GDP)—from the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI). GPI is a new experimental measure of sustainable development that accommodates factors currently unaccounted for in GDP, such as income distribution, value of household work, cost of unemployment, and various other social and environmental costs. The divergence of these two indicators in recent decades suggests that Australia’s growth has been heavily dependent on the draw-down of the nation’s stocks of capital assets (its infrastructure), its human and social capital, and its natural capital (Hamilton 1997).
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Human pressure threatens many species and ecosystems, so conservation efforts necessarily prioritize saving them. However, conservation should clearly be proactive wherever possible. In this article, we assess the biodiversity conservation value, and specifically the irreplaceability in terms of species endemism, of those of the planet's ecosystems that remain intact. We find that 24 wilderness areas, all > or = 1 million hectares, are > or = 70% intact and have human densities of less than or equal to five people per km2. This wilderness covers 44% of all land but is inhabited by only 3% of people. Given this sparse population, wilderness conservation is cost-effective, especially if ecosystem service value is incorporated. Soberingly, however, most wilderness is not speciose: only 18% of plants and 10% of terrestrial vertebrates are endemic to individual wildernesses, the majority restricted to Amazonia, Congo, New Guinea, the Miombo-Mopane woodlands, and the North American deserts. Global conservation strategy must target these five wildernesses while continuing to prioritize threatened biodiversity hotspots.
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To explore the impacts of increasing human numbers on nature, many studies have examined relationships between human population density (HPD) and biodiversity change. The implicit assumption in many of these studies is that as population density increases so does the threat to biodiversity. The implications of this assumption are compounded by recent research showing that species richness for many taxonomic groups is often highest in areas with high HPD. If increasing HPD is a threat to conservation, this threat may be magnified owing to the spatial congruence between people and species richness. Here, I review the relationships between HPD and measures of biodiversity status focussing in particular on evidence for the spatial congruence between people and species richness and the threat that increasing HPD may pose to biodiversity conservation. The review is split into two major sections: (i) a quantitative assessment of 85 studies covering 401 analyses, including meta-analyses on discrete relationships; and (ii) a discussion of the implications of the quantitative analyses and major issues raised in the literature.
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The paper introduces the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) which will replace the current Australian Statistical Geographical Classification (ASGC) in July 2011. The paper briefly summarises the background to the development of the ASGS. It discusses the conceptual basis of the new classification and gives an update on the progress of its development and implementation, including the issues that have emerged so far.
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In Australia, over 50% of threatened species occur within the urban fringe and accelerating urbanization is now a key threat. Biodiversity near and within urban areas brings much social benefit but its maintenance involves complex trade-offs between competing land uses. Urban design typically views biodiversity as a development constraint, not a value to be enhanced into the future. We argue that decisions could be more transparent and systematic and we demonstrate that efficient development solutions can be found that avoid areas important for biodiversity. We present a case study in the context of land use change across the city of Wyndham, a local Government west of Melbourne, Australia. We use reserve design tools in a novel way to identify priority development sites, based on a synthesis of ecological, social and economic data. Trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and other key development objectives and constraints (transport planning, flood risk and food production) are quantified. The analysis can be conducted dynamically with visually compelling output, facilitating more transparent, efficient and democratically derived urban planning solutions. We suggest that government agencies could adopt similar approaches to identify efficient planning solutions for both biodiversity and development in urban environments. ©
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Urban land-cover change threatens biodiversity and affects ecosystem productivity through loss of habitat, biomass, and carbon storage. However, despite projections that world urban populations will increase to nearly 5 billion by 2030, little is known about future locations, magnitudes, and rates of urban expansion. Here we develop spatially explicit probabilistic forecasts of global urban land-cover change and explore the direct impacts on biodiversity hotspots and tropical carbon biomass. If current trends in population density continue and all areas with high probabilities of urban expansion undergo change, then by 2030, urban land cover will increase by 1.2 million km(2), nearly tripling the global urban land area circa 2000. This increase would result in considerable loss of habitats in key biodiversity hotspots, with the highest rates of forecasted urban growth to take place in regions that were relatively undisturbed by urban development in 2000: the Eastern Afromontane, the Guinean Forests of West Africa, and the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka hotspots. Within the pan-tropics, loss in vegetation biomass from areas with high probability of urban expansion is estimated to be 1.38 PgC (0.05 PgC yr(-1)), equal to ∼5% of emissions from tropical deforestation and land-use change. Although urbanization is often considered a local issue, the aggregate global impacts of projected urban expansion will require significant policy changes to affect future growth trajectories to minimize global biodiversity and vegetation carbon losses.
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Abstract Urbanization profoundly alters the biota of areas that become cities and towns. Many species are introduced by humans while indigenous species often decline. Although these changes are well known, the long-term ecological effects of new species and their interactions are seldom considered and rarely documented. This study examines changes in diversity and temporal availability of the food resources of Pteropus poliocephalus (Grey-headed Flying-fox) in the Melbourne region using a variety of historical and current data sources. Our results indicate that urbanization has influenced the distribution, abundance and ecology of P. poliocephalus through a dramatic increase in the quantity and temporal availability of food resources. Prior to European settlement, only 13 species recorded in the range-wide diet of P. poliocephalus grew in the Melbourne area. Compilations of street-tree databases indicate that an additional 87 species have been planted on Melbourne’s streets and that there are at least 315 500 trees that are able to provide food for P. poliocephalus. Phenology records indicate that street trees have lengthened the temporal availability of food for P. poliocephalus. A period of natural food scarcity between May and August has been ameliorated by street trees which have provided nectar and a previously absent fruit resource. These changes are likely to be a major factor contributing to the recent range expansion of P. poliocephalus and the establishment of a permanent camp in Melbourne.
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This paper evaluates the development of Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) as a means of reducing timber production-environment conflicts in Australia, with particular reference to the development of the Regional Forest Agreement in Northeast Victoria. Regional Forest Agreements are formal legal agreements between federal and state governments. The processes associated with their production have a number of innovative features from a social perspective, but the economic analysis associated with their production fails to put any value on the non-market values associated with native forests. The processes involved in the production of Regional Forest Agreements may result in economic benefit through local capacity building and conflict resolution amongst different stakeholders. However, there may be a gap between the intention and the outcome, in that RFAs have in some cases polarised and exacerbated conflicts.
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Urban climates are known to differ from those of the surrounding rural areas, as human activities in cities lead to changes in temperature, humidity and wind regimes. These changes can in turn affect the geographic distribution of species, the behaviour of animals and the phenology of plants. The grey-headed flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) is a large, nomadic bat from eastern Australia that roosts in large colonies known as camps. Historically a warm temperate to tropical species, P. poliocephalus recently established a year-round camp in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. Using a bioclimatic analysis, we demonstrated that on the basis of long-term data, Melbourne does not fall within the climatic range of other P. poliocephalus camp sites in Australia. Melbourne is drier than other summer camps, and cooler and drier than other winter camps. The city also receives less radiation, in winter and annually, than the other summer and winter camps of P. poliocephalus. However, we found that temperatures in central Melbourne have been increasing since the 1950s, leading to warmer conditions and a reduction in the number of frosts. In addition, artificial watering of parks and gardens in the city may contribute the equivalent of 590 mm (95% CI: 450–720 mm) of extra rainfall per year. It appears that human activities have increased temperatures and effective precipitation in central Melbourne, creating a more suitable climate for camps of the grey-headed flying-fox. As demonstrated by this example, anthropogenic climate change is likely to complicate further the task of conserving biological diversity in urban environments.
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Plant extinctions from urban areas are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide. To minimize this threat, it is critical to understand what factors are influencing plant extinction rates. We compiled plant extinction rate data for 22 cities around the world. Two-thirds of the variation in plant extinction rates was explained by a combination of the city's historical development and the current proportion of native vegetation, with the former explaining the greatest variability. As a single variable, the amount of native vegetation remaining also influenced extinction rates, particularly in cities > 200 years old. Our study demonstrates that the legacies of landscape transformations by agrarian and urban development last for hundreds of years, and modern cities potentially carry a large extinction debt. This finding highlights the importance of preserving native vegetation in urban areas and the need for mitigation to minimize potential plant extinctions in the future.
Death by a thousand cuts: incorporating cumulative effects in Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal
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