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Understanding how built urban form influences biodiversity

Andersson, E., and J. Colding. (2014) Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 13(2):221-226.

Abstract:

This study seeks to contribute to a more complete understanding of how urban form influences biodiversity by investigating the effects of green area distribution and that of built form. We investigated breeding bird diversity in three types of housing development with approximately the same amount of tree cover. No significant differences in terms of bird communities were found between housing types in any of the survey periods. However, detached housing, especially with interspersed trees, had more neotropical insectivores and higher overall diversity of insectivores. Based on our results and theory we suggest a complementary approach to managing biodiversity in urban landscapes – instead of maximising the value and quality of individual patches efforts could go into enhancing over-all landscape quality at the neighbourhood scale by splitting up part of the green infrastructure. The relatively small differences in bird communities also suggest that different stakeholder groups may be engaged in management.

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Keywords: Bird diversity, Interspersion, Urban ecology, Urban form

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