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      Plant population success across urban ecosystems: A framework to inform biodiversity conservation in cities

      1 , 2 , 1 , 2

      Journal of Applied Ecology

      Wiley

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          Urbanization, Biodiversity, and Conservation

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            A global analysis of the impacts of urbanization on bird and plant diversity reveals key anthropogenic drivers.

            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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              Novel urban ecosystems, biodiversity, and conservation.

               Ingo Kowarik (2015)
              With increasing urbanization the importance of cities for biodiversity conservation grows. This paper reviews the ways in which biodiversity is affected by urbanization and discusses the consequences of different conservation approaches. Cities can be richer in plant species, including in native species, than rural areas. Alien species can lead to both homogenization and differentiation among urban regions. Urban habitats can harbor self-sustaining populations of rare and endangered native species, but cannot replace the complete functionality of (semi-)natural remnants. While many conservation approaches tend to focus on such relict habitats and native species in urban settings, this paper argues for a paradigm shift towards considering the whole range of urban ecosystems. Although conservation attitudes may be challenged by the novelty of some urban ecosystems, which are often linked to high numbers of nonnative species, it is promising to consider their associated ecosystem services, social benefits, and possible contribution to biodiversity conservation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Applied Ecology
                J Appl Ecol
                Wiley
                00218901
                September 2018
                September 2018
                March 30 2018
                : 55
                : 5
                : 2354-2361
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Ecology; Ecosystem Science/Plant Ecology; Technische Universität Berlin; Berlin Germany
                [2 ]Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB); Berlin Germany
                Article
                10.1111/1365-2664.13144
                © 2018

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