Patterns and trends in urban biodiversity and design

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Content: Chapter 3: Patterns and trends in urban biodiversity and design
Norbert Mьller, Maria Ignatieva, Charles Nilon, and Peter Werner
Whereas cities pose major challenges for the protection of biodiversity, the opportunities they offer have received little consideration in the global debate about biodiversity. In principle, there are three complementary ways for cities to play their part in meeting the CBD target of stopping biodiversity loss, namely: - The sustainable use of ecosystem goods and services for and within cities - The conservation of biodiversity within towns and cities and the sustainable design of all urban areas to maximize their ability to support biodiversity. - Promoting awareness and influencing decision-making is a critical contribution by cities, given that the key persons making decisions relating to biodiversity loss or conservation live in cities. This chapter addresses biodiversity conservation and the role of design in biodiversity conservation. Sections 1 ­ 7 are a review of key concepts about urban biodiversity and a summary of the key literature on biodiversity in towns and cities. This portion of the chapter incorporates portions of Mьller & Werner's (2010) review paper. Sections 8 ­ 9 summarize a recent synthesis of patterns of biodiversity in the world's cities, focusing a review conducted by Aronson et al (in review). Sections 10-13 address socioeconomic and cultural factors influencing biodiversity, and the role of design in shaping biodiversity at different scales. Sections 11-13 summarize recently published papers by Ignatieva 2010; Ignatieva 2011 a and b; Ignatieva et al 2011.
3.1. What is urban biodiversity? Urban biodiversity is `the variety and richness of living organisms (including genetic variation) and habitat diversity found in and on the edge of human settlements'. This biodiversity ranges from the rural fringe to the urban core. At the landscape and habitat level all types of biodiversity can be found within the borders of cities: - Pristine natural landscapes (e. g. remnant habitats of primeval forests, rock faces)
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- agricultural landscapes (e. g. meadows, areas of arable land) - Urban-industrial landscapes (e. g. formal parks and gardens, residential areas, industrial parks, railway areas, brown fields). Many cities contain protected areas with remnants of pristine natural and agricultural landscapes within their borders and these can include large areas. For example in Curitiba (Brazil) around 23 % of the total city area is nature reserve or 41% of Greater London is protected as so called Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs), Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), greenbelt or Metropolitan Open Land. Within the borders of Vienna - the capital of Austria - 56% of the total city area has been subject to nature conservation protection already since 1905 (Kelcey & Mьller 2011, Mьller & al 2010). In this chapter we will focus on the biodiversity of urban-industrial landscapes that means urban biodiversity in the narrow sense. This biodiversity is determined by the planning, design and management of the built environment, which are, in turn, influenced by the economic, social and cultural values and dynamics of the human population.
3.2. General characteristics of urban ecosystems with specific respect to biodiversity An urban area can be defined by applying the following criteria (Sukopp & Wittig 1998; Pickett et al. 2001): 1. Human population larger than 20,000 and with a population density (in the central area) greater than 500 persons/kmІ. 2. Configuration of buildings, technical infrastructure and open spaces where the extent of hard surface (including buildings, paving and other structures) covers an average of c. 40­50% of the land surface in the urban fringe and suburban areas, and well in excess of 60% in the core areas. 3. Formation of an urban heat island in temperate and boreal zones with longer periods of plant growth, warmer summers and milder winters than the surrounding countryside. 4. Modification of the water soil-moisture regimes, tending to become drier in temperate zones, but with opposite effects in desert areas due to irrigation. 5. High levels of nutrient input at both point source and broad-scale.
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6. High productivity, especially in areas such as parks, gardens, allotments and similar intensively cultivated or managed areas, together with intentionally and unintentionally elevated food availability for animals bothwild and domesticated. 7. Soil contamination, Air Pollution, and water pollution; with particular impacts on soil organisms, lichens, and aquatic species. 8. Disturbance such as trampling, construction (often with removal of all vegetation), mowing, radical soil change, noise and litter or fly-tipping. 9. Fragmentation of open spaces, especially green spaces, including semi-natural areas. 10. High proportion of introduced species. 11. Large number of euryoecious and common species. The variations of these criteria can be used as measures of the degree of urbanization. In Figure 1 the effects of urbanization on local climate, soils, water & biodiversity are summarized and visualized with respect to the urbanization gradient of a temperate city. Plants and animals living in cities are part of a regional species pool influenced by the biogeographical region and the local landscape setting in which a city is embedded. For example, cities in the Mediterranean biogeographical region share some plant and animal species in common, whereas a large number of the world's cities that occur near coast lines may also be expected to share some plant and animal species. Therefore, the general characteristics of cities that influence biodiversity filter the species pool of plants and animals (Palmer et al. 2008). Cities and their environments are not static over time. Many European cities were founded several hundred years ago, and in contrast to many Asian and South American cities, have experienced relatively gradual growth and expansion. Fast-growing in Asia, South America, and Africa are often in contact with wilderness and semi-nnatural areas, whereas some European and North American urban areas are characterized as shrinking cities (as a result of economic and political changes) with newly opened vacant lands that can be colonized by plants and animals. 3.3. Rural- urban gradient
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It is well known that there is a gradient of increasing human impact from the rural fringe of a city to its centre and hence an increasing intensity of the attributes mentioned above (Figure 1). In general there is a reduction in the Species richness of birds and vascular plants from areas with a lower level of urbanization (urban fringe) to areas with the highest level of urbanization (centre), with the highest species richness at the urban fringe The higher species richness of the urban fringe results from the area being particularly heterogeneous, because the fringe is a transitional zone from habitats of the surrounding landscape to urbanized ones, and subject to intermediate levels of human disturbance (Zerbe et al. 2003).(McKinney 2008 and Figure 2). For some bird species abundance is higher in urban areas than in adjacent rural or natural and semi-natural habitats. Bird abundance often higher in urban areas than in surrounding rural landscapes. Increased in abundance is most common among non-native species like House Sparrow(Passer domesticus) and European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) in North American cities and native species that are urban exploiters.
Figure 1. Variations in the biosphere of a city in the northern hemisphere (from Sukopp 1973, last updated 1982)
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In Central European cities the number of vascular plant species decreases from more than 400 species per kmІ at the urban fringe to less than 50 species per kmІ in the city centre (Landolt 2000, Godefroid 2001). Worldwide the increasing presence and frequency of few generalists of birds are reported, for example in temperate and Mediterranean regions most of the species are granivores or omnivores as well as cavity-nesting species able to use buildings (Adams 2005) whilst in tropical zones there can be a shift to the benefit of seed eating (granivores) and fruit eating (frugivores) species (Lim & Sodhi 2004). The proportion of native to non-native plants species, also changes along the gradient with non-native species increasing towards the centre (Zerbe et al. 2003, Hahs & McDonnell 2007). This is different to bird species, where in inner urban areas of European and American cities the majority of species are native however nonnatives have much higher population densities (Marzluff et al. 2001, Kelcey & Rheinwald 2005). Faeth et al. 2011 analyzed 92 articles that reported diversity measures of terrestrial animals along some gradient of urbanization. They found that the trends vary among cities with different climates. Most studies of temperate and tropical cities show general decline in species richness. However, in cities of arid climates the majority of studies show increases in number of species dance and an equal number of studies where richness increases or decreases.
Figure 2. Percentage of studies, by group, showing species richness peaks at three levels of urbanization (after McKinney 2008 slightly modified)
3.4. Centers of immigration and adaptation There are many examples describing how animals and plants (especially birds and angiosperms)
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have changed from their natural habitats to newly created urban habitats (Gliwicz et al. 1994).
An abundant food supply (including feeding by people), a large variety of new ecological niches and the lack of predators may be some of the main reasons why some animal species become more abundant in cities. Many species have migrated from their original natural habitats (especially rocks and cliffs) to urban centres. For example in European cities the dominant breeding species include Rock Dove (Columba livia domestica), Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto), House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), Blackbird (Turdus merula), Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), and Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros). Other species also breed in urban area but feed (at least partially) outside it, for example Common Swift (Apus apus), Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) and Eurasian Jackdaw (Corvus monedula) (Kelcey & Rheinwald 2005).
Wild Rock Doves started to be domesticated at least 3000 ­ 4000 years ago. During that time selective breeding was undertaken to improve the birds for different purposes, for example meat, sending messages, performance, decoration or orientation. This resulted in the species undergoing changes in phenotype and behaviour (Kelcey & Rheinwald 2005). Domesticated Rock Doves (Columba livia domestica) were released or escaped from captivity and have become naturalized in cities all over the world. In city centres the biomass of feral pigeons (Columba livia domestica) is higher than in natural habitats (Nuorteva 1971).
Plants that have changed from their natural habitats to urban habitats are called `apophytes.' A recent overview of the origin of the urban flora of Central Europe (Wittig 2004), described the natural habitats from which some urban species originated, for example: - River banks, floodplains woodlands and swamps: Aegopodium podagraria, Calystegia sepium, Galium aparine, - Periodically flooded, nutrient enriched mud, sand and gravel surfaces of inland waters: Bidens tripartita, Plantago major, Potentilla reptans, - Strand lines, dunes and coastal rocks: Elymus repens, Sonchus arvensis, - Areas of wind throw, clearings: Cirsium arvense, C. vulgare,
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- Scree and rubble: Chaenorinum minus, Sedum acre, Tussilago farfara, Rocks: Asplenium ruta-muraria, A. trichomanes, Sedum album. A recent study of the most common plant speciesin six large cities of the northern hemisphere (Mьller 2010) found that many of the most common species in cities are species of natural grasslands and riparian habitats (Figure 3). Some species (called anecophytes) probably even evolved in urban areas under the influence of humans and therefore they have no natural habitat (see section 6 of this chapter).
Figure 3. Natural habitats of the 50 most frequent plants in six large cities of the Northern Hemisphere (from Mьller 2010)
Life-history characteristics of plant species that are restricted to urban conditions include annual or biennial life form, large seed production, high genetic variability and phenotypic plasticity. Animals adapted to urban areas are mobile, generalists, often omnivores and have a smaller body size (especially invertebrates). Plants and animals that are restricted to urban areas have been named urbanophile (Wittig et al. 1985). Animal species that are well adapted to, thrive, occupy a
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wide range of conditions, and are common in urban areas have been named urban exploiters (Blair 2001). 3.5. Centers of importation, naturalization and exportation of non-native species Cities are important centres for the importation and naturalisation of non-native species (e.g. Gilbert 1989, Klausnitzer 1993). Regarding plants, deliberate introductions for horticulture, forestry and landscaping purposes play the major role while unintended introductions in goods are of less importance (e.g. Dehnen-Schmutz et al. 2007, Krausch 2005, Mack & Erneberg 2002, Martin & Stabler 2004, Wittig 2004). It is estimated that since the Neolithic period 12,000 species have been introduced into Central Europe for ornamental and cultural purposes. Ten percent (1100) of those plants have become naturalized (Lohmeyer & Sukopp 1992). There is a very strong correlation between the expansion of an urban area and the number of naturalized, non-native plant species it contains. For example, in Berlin, rapid population growth in the 19th and 20th cenutury, led to a significantincrease in thenumber of naturalized species (trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants) (Sukopp & Wurzel 2003) (Figure 4).
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Figure 4. Correlation between human population growth and naturalized plants in Berlin (from Sukopp & Wurzel 2003) In general, cities contain around 30 % non-native plants and less than 5 % non-native birds. Therefore the relative pressure of exotic species on native communities is much greater for plants than birds (Working Group "Urban Comparative Ecology", pers. Communication P. Werner 2011). Exceptions are in Australia and New Zealand, where the percentage of non-native plants and animals are much higher due to the late colonization by western human populations (see section 9).
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Urbanisation is regarded as the main cause of `biotic homogenisation' (McKinney 2006), it results from the deliberate planting of a relatively small number of non-native species and cultivars in gardens and landscape schemes associated with development (Reichard & White 2001, Sullivan et al. 2005), and the resulting spread of these as invasive species into surrounding areas. There are many examples of species being imported for horticultural or landscape purposes and then becoming naturalised in other areas, they include Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) from China, Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) from North America and Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) from South America. Recently Lippe & Kowarik (2007) demonstrated that cars are an important factor for the dispersal of non-native plant species to the surrounding landscape.
Accidentally or deliberately introduced animals species may also become naturalized in cities. In the early 1850s House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) from England were imported to the major cities of the eastern United States to control the infestation of trees by drop worms (Geometridae) (Garber 1987). The birds adapted successfully and by the mid-1870s they had become a serious problem in that part of the United States. As a consequence, a vigorous debate began as to their value or harm ­ a debate that often exceeded the bounds of scientific discourse. This debate became famous as "The English Sparrow War" (Fine & Christoforides 1991).
In relation to the introduction of the North American Racoon (Procyon lotor) into Germany in 1934, Hohmann et al. (2002) state: "The North American Racoon (Procyon lotor) had been introduced into Germany in 1934 and in forested areas of some German Federal States racoons became an established species reaching densities of more than 1 individual per 100 ha. However, much higher densities are recorded for urban areas. According to investigations in parts of the city Bad Karlshafen (in Northern Hesse) densities of approximately 100 /ha are estimated, a number which can be considered as normal for urban habitats in America. Racoons have become numerous in other German cities, too, and the common features of all these cities are that they are located in valleys and are surrounded by forests. Racoons can transfer diseases to humans (e.g. roundworms) and can cause damage in houses."
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The distribution of pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum L.) in North America, is another example of an animal species that has naturalised successfully. About 200 years ago the pavement ant was introduced to the United States and is now among the most abundant ant species in urban and highly developed suburban areas along the Atlantic Coast occurring from Canada to Florida. It is believed that T. caespitum was brought from Europe to North America in colonial times in the soil that was used as ballast in merchant vessels. (King & Green 1995).
Parrots such as the Ring-Necked Parakeet (Psittacula krameri),a secondary cavity nester and a native species of Africa and Asia, were introduced into Europe and USA as pets. Many escaped and during the last few decades they have established successful breeding colonies in several cities throughout Europe and the United States. In the decades before the end of the 19th century, when the first parakeets were introduced to Britain, until the middle of the of the 20th century the populations failed to become established in European cities because of severe declines during winter. Parakeets have now started to spread in the rural areas where farmers consider them to be a serious local pest because of the damage they cause to crops and stored grain. Feral species of parrots also adversely affect native cavity nesting species such as Mynas, Hoopoes, Rollers and Owlets (Butler 2005, Strubbe & Matthysen 2007).
3.6. Centers of evolution
It is assumed that during the several thousand years since the first permanent human settlements many plant species have evolved as the result of human influence and natural processes including isolation, hybridisation and introgression (Wittig 2004). These species have no natural habitat and are in general strongly restricted to anthropogenic habitats. Plants falling into this category are called anecopytes or obligatory weeds (Scholz 1991, Sukopp & Scholz 1997). Weeds which mainly evolved in European cities and have a worldwide distribution today in cities (Mьller 2005) include: Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), Lambsquarters (Chenopodium album), Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), Mouse Barley (Hordeum murinum), Common Plantain (Plantago major), Annual Bluegrass (Poa annua), Prostrate Knotweed (Polygonum aviculare agg.), Common Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris), Common Chickweed (Stellaria media), Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.). The evolutionary processes have been observed in cities with increasing frequency during recent
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times, mainly as the consequence of the introduction of non-native species. Sukopp et al. (1979) have given as an example the Evening Primrose (Oenothera agg.) in Europe. In the 1980's more than 15species of Oenothera had been identified in Europe, with two exceptions, they were different from the North American plants from which they are descended. These new European taxa have evolved since their American parent species were introduced into Europe about 350 years ago. Their main occurrence in cities is on artificial soils e.g. along railway land and urban waste grounds (Tokhtari & Wittig 2001). In similar way the Michaelmas Daisies (Aster noviangliae, A. novi-belgii, A. lanceolatus, A. laevis and hybrids), introduced from North America, in British cities appear to be becoming increasingly variable both morphologically and in their ecological amplitude, which suggests that new taxa may be evolving (Gilbert 1989). In the former mining area Ruhr in Germany numerous new Populus taxa where recognized as the result of hybridization between native and non-native taxa (Keil & Loos 2005). Several new taxa originate from plant breeding and selection in the horticultural, agricultural and forestry industries, for example the development of numerous grass cultivars of such as Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne), Red Fescue (Festuca rubra) and Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis) for lawns, sports turf and cattle pasture. It is the modern extension of similar plant selection that has existed for millennia in relation to the improvement of plants for food, fibre (for clothing), animal fodder and other purposes.
Zoologists are also discovering the importance of urban areas as evolutionary laboratories. For example Johnston & Selander (1964) found that the House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) introduced to the United States in the 1879s evolved into new races within 50 years.
In general the evolution of new taxa in cities can result from: - Domestication and cultivation of useful animals or plants and their later escape and establishment in the wild (e.g. Doves, Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)), - Unintentional selection resulting from the special conditions or treatments that occur in urban areas (e.g. impact of herbicides, air pollution),
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- Hybridization between native and non-native species from the same genus (e.g. Populus spp) respectively providing opportunities for hybridization that would not otherwise occur, - Accelerated speciation as a result of the dispersal of a number of individuals to a new location, the "founder effect" (e.g. genus Oenothera) 3.7. Complex hotspots and melting pots for regional biodiversity There is general agreement that cities are characterized by high species richness in terms of vascular plants and most animal groups. This is the result of high beta-diversity, a result of the large variety of habitats present, the considerable variation in the types and intensities of land use, the range of materials used, and the huge array of micro-habitats and the most varied habitat mosaic configurations (Niemela 1999, Crooks et al. 2004, McKinney 2006, Sukopp 2006, Reichholf 2007).
The large number of vascular plants results from summing the number of native and non-native species. In many cases the decline in the number of native species caused by development is compensated for by the introduction of non-native species. Nevertheless, it is remarkable that despite these declines the number of native species in cities, especially in cities of the northern hemisphere is relatively high. Studies across many taxonomic groups have shown that 50 % and more of the regional or even national species assemblage is to be found in cities. For instance, more than 50 % of the flora of Belgium can be found in Brussels (Godefroid 2001), in Rome about half of the bird species occurring in the surrounding landscape are also found in the city itself (Cignini & Zapparoli 2005), and 50 % of vertebrates and 65 % of birds of Poland occur in Warsaw (Luniak 2008). However in some regions of the world like New Zealand the non-native species are dominant in urban areas. For example from the total of 317 vascular plant species found in Christchurch biotopes, only 48 are native (Ignatieva et al. 2000, Stewart et al. 2010).
Ricketts & Imhoff (2003) found a strong positive correlation at the regional level between species richness and the degree of urbanization. The early settlements from which European cities have evolved tend to have been established in regions that are naturally highly heterogeneous in terms of landscape, so that they have from the outset a relatively high level of
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species richness (Kьhn et al. 2004). This does not necessarily apply to all cities and to all parts of the world, but it is likely to hold true in principle. The correlation between landscape heterogeneity and settlement development can be explained by the fact that the locations of human settlement have the following ecological characteristics: favourable climate, productivity, location at junctions of habitat types, relatively constant natural development (catastrophic events are not unduly frequent).
The location of existing or proposed urban developments in regional "hot spots" of biodiversity, gives rise to a special responsibility for the conservation of biological diversity. In these "hot spots", rare species are particularly threatened by urbanization (Kьhn et al. 2004). In the case of plants, species numbers are high in cities, but the number of threatened and rare species is also high.
An analysis of large scale floristic mapping exercises and the relationship between cities and species richness shows an interesting `phenomenon,' namely that cities with academic institutions appear to be particularly species-rich. In simple terms, they have been better studied (Moraczewski & Sudnik-Wocjikowska 2007). The same `phenomenon' has been referred to by Barthlott et al. (1999) in their description of the development of global biodiversity.
In addition, most cities contain sites of special importance for nature conservation with respect to protection of threatened species and habitats. Many are `pristine' remnants of native vegetation that often survived because topography, soil and other characteristics are unsuitable for housing, commercial or infrastructure development. Other sites are retained and protected because of ownership or their use and management has remained unchanged for decades (sometimes centuries) or they are important sites of cultural heritage or have remained unused for a long time. Many of these sites contain rare species (both spontaneous and cultivated) or contain species-rich habitats.
Remarkable examples of pristine remnants include in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), the remnant forests of the Mata Atlantica; in Singapore, the evergreen forests of the Botanical Garden; in Caracas
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(Venezuela), the National Park El Avila with its rock faces; remants of Australian bushland habitats in Perth, Sydney and Brisbane; remnants of natural forests in York (Canada) or Portland (USA), Stockholm (Sweden), St. Petersburg and Moscow (Russia), the Ridge Forest in New Delhi (India); rock faces and outcrops in Edinburgh (Scotland), (Heywood 1996, Miller & Hobbs 2002, City of Edinburgh 2000). Examples of cultural sites with a long use and management and with special nature conservation and biodiversity include: the archaeological sites and historical parks in Rome and Florence (Italy); the Royal Parks in London (England); semi-natural forests in the precincts of temples or shrines in various Japanese cities; the 90-year-old Meiji Jingu artificial forest in the heart of Tokyo (Japan) and in Berlin (Germany) the urban wastelands with Black Locust forests (Japan News 2005, Royal Parks Foundation).
3.8. Urbanization in global hotspot areas, invasive and exotic species. Myers et al. (2000) identified 25 global biodiversity hotspots, defined as regions that had greater than 1500 endemic species of vascular flora and where more than 70% of habitat had been lost. There has been considerable debate in the conservation community on the ecological and management-based justifications for designating hotspots, however the recognition that certain areas in the world support high levels of biodiversity and that many of this areas are under threat is accepted as valid (Jepson & Canney, 2001). Cincotta et al. (2000) and Cincotta and Engleman (2000) reported that there are 146 cities in or directly adjacent to biodiversity hotspots 62 cities have over 1 million people. The large number of cities located global hotspots and the potential for rapid urbanization in global hotspots and associated threats to biodiversity are both justifications for understanding patterns of biodiversity global hotspots.
Much of the literature on cities in biodiversity hotspots focuses on impacts of urbanization on protected areas, emphasizing the potential decline in species richness and extirpation of some species as urban areas expand (McDonald et al., 2008). However, there are a small number of studies have looked at specific case studies of individual cities within hotspots. Pauchard et al (2006) studied plant diversity in Conception, Chile, focusing on habitat fragments of mixed plantations and native vegetation where 33% of the vascular plant species were non-native species. The non-native species are concentrated along roadsides and disturbed areas. The study documented changes in biodiversity associated with urbanization, urban design practices, and
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import of non-native species through agricultural and ornamental introduction. Connor et al. (2002) reviewed the conservation status of the insect fauna of the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States, noting that species richness was driven by the presence of a combination of remnant patches of natural habitats and the mix of natural, semi-natural and planted habitats in the urbanized area, whereas species declines were associated with habitat loss and the introduction of invasive exotic plant and insect species. In some habitat patches the biomass of exotic insect species made up greater than 95%.
To gain a broader perspective on patterns of biodiversity in cities that occur within global biodiversity hotspots we reviewed data collected by the NCEAS working group Comparative Ecology of Cities and Towns: What Makes an Urban Biota "Urban?" (Aronson et al in review). We used data on birds and plants from cities that occurred within biodiversity hotspots as defined by Conservation International. Twenty-five of the 147 cities in the NCEAS database occurred in biodiversity hotspots (Table 1). Nine hotspots were represented, with the Mediterranean Basin hotspot containing the largest number of cities in the database.
Native species dominated the avifauna of the cities in the NCEAS database, with native species comprising greater than 85% of all species in 13 of 15 cities where bird data were available. Only cities in New Zealand had fewer than 55% native bird species. A similar pattern was observed among the 12 cites with plant data that occurred in biological hotspots. Greater than 75% of species were native, with the exception of the East Afromontane city (Bujumbura, Burundi) and the New Zealand cities (Auckland and Hamilton) (Table 1.)
Aronson et al's. (in review) review of data from 27 cities in hotspots supports findings from other studies that there may be different patterns of biodiversity in cities due to the different age of cities and the different history and sources of species introduction. Many cities in Europe are located in hot spot areas and incorporate protected areas with natural or semi-natural habitats, in some cities as high as 55% of the area of the city. Many of these include habitats with threatened species important for global biodiversity (e. g. of the IUCN red data list) (Mьller 2011). In the East Afromontane and New Zealand Cities the high quantity of deliberate and unintentional plant introductions by the European colonizers, and their strong influence of
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landscape architecture styles may be responsible for the increasing number of exotic species (Ignatieva 2011a and section 11). Another important reason of such successful domination of exotic species in New Zealand modified landscapes is: many exotic species are likely to respond first to any reduction in stress because they are fast-growing species and prevalent in local vegetation and dominate seed banks (Meurk and Hall 2006). The global comparison also indicates that non-native species in cities in Europe, Asia, and North America are primarily of European and Asian origin, whereas cities in the new worlds are dominated by species from the neotropics and Americas Aronson et al's. (in review). Tab. 1. Plant and bird species richness, percent native speices, and percent IUCN Red-List species for cities occurring in global biodiversity hotspots. Richness data are grouped by biogeographical realm (data from the NCEAS study, Aronson et al. in review).
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Hotspot and City
California Floristic Province
Fresno (Schedler 2010)
Los Angeles (Schwartz et al. 2006; Mьller 1214 and Mayr 2002)
San Diego (San Diego Natural History
Museum 2010)
Morelia ( Lуpez-Lуpez 2011)
Querйtaro ( Pineda Lуpez 2011)
Tropical Andes
LaPaz (Villegas & Garitano-Zavala 2010) 187
Mediterranean Basin
Lisbon (Geraldes & Costa 2005)
Valencia (Murgui 2005)
Montpellier (Caula et al. 2008)
Florence (Dinetti 2005)
Rome (Cignini et al. 2005; Celesti-Grapow 803 1995)
Patras (Chronopoulos & Christodoulakis 333 2000, Chronopoulos & Christodoulakis 1996)
Thessaloniki (Krigas & Kokkini 2005;
Krigas & Kokkini 2004)
Alexandroupolis (Chronopoulos & Christodoulakis 2006)
Istanbul (Osma et al. 2010)
Jerusalem (Bino et al. 2008; Jerusalem 125 Bird Observatory 1998)
East Afromontane
Bujumbura Bigirimana et al. 2011)
Hong Kong (Lock 2000, Thrower 1975) 1104
Singapore (Wang & Hails 2007; Chong et 710 al. 2000)
Sendai (Imai & Nakashizuka 2010)
New Zealand
Auckland (Esler 2001; Duncan & Young 664 2000)
Bird Species Total
IUCN Red % Native data species
Vascular Plant Species Total
Native data
77.7 1
79.2 4
1259 765 963 439 311
82.2 1 87.2 0 85.3 1 91.4 0 86.2 0
57.2 0
87.1 12
87.4 41
21.6 0
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Dunedin (van Heezik et al. 2008)
Hamilton (Innes et al. 2008; Coleman & 98
Clarkson 2010; Comes & Clarkson 2010;
Clarkson et al. 2007; Comes et al. 2000)
40.8 0
3.9. What is the level of biodiversity within cities? In the first sections of this chapter we have summarized the literature on the ecology of cities and the characteristics of cities that are potential influences on biodiversity. In this section we review the literature on levels of biodiversity within cities. We pay particular attention to the literature that has focused on comparing patterns of biodiversity among the world's cities, focusing on the percentage of native and non-native species and on variables that are correlates of species richness.
3.9.1 Regional studies There are a small number of regional studies of urban biodiversity that that cover specific taxonomic groups across a range of landuse and land cover types. These studies are useful in identifying patterns of species richness, ratio of non-native to native species, and variables that are predictors of these patterns.
Clemants and Moore (2003) analyzed published floras for eight cities in the Northeast and Midwest United States. The floras contained 4159 species, with 65 % native species. Twelve percent of native species and 7.5% of non-native species were common to all cities, suggesting a low level of homogenization at a city-wide scale. Size of the city, latitude, longitude, growing season length, men January (winter) temperature, and annual rainfall were correlated with species richness, whereas the native / non-native species ratio was correlated with longitude, suggesting the pattern of species introductions in the United States from the east coast to the interior (Clemants and Moore 2003).
Pysek (1998) analyzed the flora of 54 cities in Central and Eastern Europe, focusing on patterns of native species, and two groups of non-native species, archaeophytes (introduced before 1500), and neophytes (introduced after 1500). The majority of species in the cities were native, whereas the cities had an average of 15.3% archaeophyess and 25.2% neophytes for a total of 43% non-
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native species. City size and winter temperature were predictors of numbers of plant species in a city, whereas the percentage of native and non-native species were correlated with city population, city area, mean annual temperature, precipitation, and longitude and latitude. Two regional studies compared bird species composition among European cities. Reviews of data from breeding bird atlas projects in Italian cities summarized data for 36 cities (Dinetti 1994; Dinetti et al. 1996; Fraissinet & Dinetti, 2007). An initial summary based on 11 Italian cities recorded 103 species and two non-native species. Species richness ranged from 38 to 74 species. Dinnetti (1994) and Dinetti et al. (1996) reported that the cities shared a common group of species but also different species associated with differences in climate, geography, and city planning decisions.
Luniak (1990) analyzed patterns of bird species richness among 27 cities in Central and Eastern Europe. Species richness ranged from 39 to 130, and 32 of the 306 total species occurred in at least 24 of the cities. Zoogeography was a key factor explain regional differences in species distribution. The cities occurred among five vegetation zones, and regional differences in species composition accounted for much of the differences in species lists (Luniak 1990).
Rheinwald and Kelcey (2005) summarized information on birds of 16 European cities noting patterns of native and non-native species varied regionally. Cities in Eastern and Southeastern Europe had almost no non-native species, whereas cities in Southwest Europe had as high as 15% non-native species. This suggests that certain types of cities may have a greater number of introduced bird species.
3.9.2 Global patterns A working group at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), "Comparative Ecology of Cities: What Makes an Urban Biota "Urban?", conducted one of the first global studies of patterns of urban biodiversity, focusing on plants and birds (Aronson et al. in review). Their study combined published data on the flora and avifauna of 147 cities with an analysis of anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic predictors of species richness, and of the representation of non-native species in each taxonomic group. The 110 cities with plant data
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captured 5% of the world's vascular plant species with a median species richness of 766 and a mean of 69.9% native species. The 54 cities with bird data captured 20% of the world's bird species with a median species richness of 113 and a mean of 94.5% native species. Plant species richness, bird species richness, and the number of non-native plant and bird species varied among biogeographical realms with cities in East Asia and the Afro Tropics having higher numbers of plant and Bird species (Figure 1). Both anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic variables were significant in predicting plant and bird species richness. The strongest predictors of plant species richness were land cover, city population size, and age of the city, whereas land cover and city population size were the strongest predictors of bird species richness. Percent non-native species were predicted by climate land cover, city population size, age of city, and topography (Aronson et al. in review). Aronson et al.'s (in review) work support findings from regional studies that cities contain a large number of native plant and bird species, and a relatively large number of non-native plant species. Predictors of species richness are a mix of variables that have been used by geographers to compare cities (city size, land use, land cover) and by ecologists to compare ecoregions (temperature, precipitation, topography, latitude, longitude). The global study also supports observations from regional studies that certain cities support greater numbers of non-native species. From Southern hemisphere there are studies on urban biotopes and urban vegetation from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa which are confirming a great number and a dominance in many cases of non-native species over indigenous in urban environment and their direct correlation to colonial policy- introduction of a big number of non-indigenous plants and birds (Swaffield et al. 2009; Stewart et al. a&b; Cilliers et al. 2008; McDonnell et al. 2008) However more information is needed especially on patterns of urban biodiversity in cities from the developing world - from Central America and the Caribbean, South America and Africa.
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Figure 5. Cities with data on plant species richness, bird species richness, and number of native and non-native plant and bird species. Richness data are group by biogeographical realm (from Aronson et al. in review)
3.10. How have non-land-use policies affected biodiversity within cities? Ecologists studying patterns of biodiversity within cities have relied on an urban-to -rural gradient approach that focuses on patterns of land cover, building density, and population density. During the last years researchers have found this approach to be limiting because of its focus on land cover and population density, and have suggested a broader approach that considers socioeconomic differences among urban residents that might explain patterns of biodiversity and ecosystem services within cities (Kinzig et al. (2005) and Dow (2000).
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3.10.1. Background: Social Areas Analysis The emphasis on socioeconomic differences as drivers of biodiversity builds on social science theory that social and spatial inequalities may drive patterns of similarity or difference within cities. In North America work by Park (1915) and Park et al., (1925) stressed that patterns of social, ethnic / racial, and economic inequality and immigration into cities created different zones that had unique characteristics with in a city. This focus on distinct zones within a urban areas that were tied to socioeconomic differences was used to study groups patterns of inequality within a city (Drake & Cayton, 1945) and was developed into social areas analysis, an approach used by geographers to study patterns of differentiation in cities (Shevky & Bell, 1955). Contemporary studies using social areas analysis define socioeconomic status as a composite scale indicate family income, education, occupation, and family structure Maloney and Auffray ( 2004). Contemporary approaches stress the role of economic and sociocultural changes that lead to distinct and new patterns of urbanization and result in changes in the spatial pattern of the built environment of cities (Cilliers 2010, Knox, 1991). The concept of environmental justice which became popularized at the beginning of the 1980s started with discussions about the unequal distribution of environmental harms like toxic waste, water and air pollution in relation to several socio-economic groups (Schlossberg 2007). Now, this concept includes biodiversity reduction, too, and with respect to urban areas, terms like "biological poverty" have been created (Melles 2005).
3.10.2. Application to Ecological Studies of Cities Ecologists have studied the relationship between urban biodiversity and socioeconomic patterns in cities since the 1970's. Schmid's (1975) study of vegetation in neighborhoods in the Chicago, Illinois, United States region, related patterns of tree species richness to census tract block data for the neighborhoods. Whitney and Adam's (1980) research on street and yard trees and Talarchek's (1990; 1985) study of street trees in New Orleans are examples of similar studies of street and yard trees that sought to identify census and other socioeconomic predictors of species richness. Significantly, these studies all attempted to relate patterns of biodiversity to specific types of neighborhoods, building on ideas that were linked to theories about differentiation and spatial patterns in cities. Hard (1985) produced and compared two urban maps of the city of
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Osnabrьck (Germany). One map represents the socio-economic distribution of the human population and the other map demonstrates the distribution of plant communities. The comparison reveals that the both distributions are linked, closely.
Since the mid 1980's ecologists and social scientists have developed and tested theories about relationships between urban biodiversity and socioeconomic status. Palmer (1984) and Richards et al. (1984) studied the vegetation of residential lots in several Syracuse, New York, United States neighborhoods and developed the concept of neighborhoods as areas with discrete vegetation shaped by residents and their preferences, with those preferences shaped in part by socioeconomic status. Burch and Grove (1993) and Grove and Burch (1997) hypothesized that gender, property rights, technological change, and other variables might influence urban residents' decisions about managing urban vegetation and in turn create patterns of difference in urban vegetation within a city.
The focus on resident and property owner decision making as a factor driving patterns of urban biodiversity has expanded to a broader theory emphasizing urban residents' lifestyle behaviors and purchasing power as drivers of social stratification that result in discrete clusters of neighborhoods in cities that are hypothesized to have different patterns of vegetation (Grove et al., 2006). Although this approach has been criticized for an over-reliance on the role of race and class in shaping individual preferences (McFarlane, 2006), the value of using socioeconomic variables as measures of social stratification and as predictors of biodiversity.
Other researchers have expanded on this approach to individual behavior by studying the complex factors that shape how individuals make decisions about their gardens, streets, and neighborhoods. (Goddard, 2010; Williams, 2002; Wolford, 2003). Goddard (2010) summarizes much of this literature by noting that they identify gardens as "socio-ecological constructs" for understanding how people and their activities shape urban biodiversity.
3.10.3. Empirical Studies There are few empirical studies investigating relationships between urban biodiversity and socioeconomic status, primarily focusing on birds and plants. Three studies illustrate how bird
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and socioeconomic data have been used. Melles (2005) studied bird species composition and abundance along a socioeconomic gradient in Vancouver, Canada. Wealthier neighborhoods contained more bird species, and social and neighborhood variables explained a greater amount of variance in bird species richness than spatial and area variables associated with each neighborhood. Loss et al. (2009) used age of housing and income as correlates bird species richness and of native and exotic species richness in their study of among 42 sites areas in the Chicago, USA metropolitan area. Per capita income was inversely related to native bird species richness and positively related to exotic richness. Age of housing was related to bird species richness with new neighborhoods supporting more species. Strohbach et al. (2009) studied bird diversity in relation to land use and socioeconomic indicators in Leipzig, Germany. Bird species diversity in Leipzig neighborhoods was correlated with household income. Neighborhoods with high socioeconomic status had higher species richness than those with lower socioeconomic status. Strohbach et al. (2009) noted that there were spatial patterns associated with the relationship between socioeconomic status and bird abundance, with wealthier neighborhoods clustered near greenspaces.
Four studies illustrate work that is being done on the relationship between socieconomic status and biodiversity of plant species. Spatial variation in plant diversity across Phoenix, Arizona, USA region was explained by land use, elevation, median family income, and history of farming on site. Plant diversity in locations with above average incomes was twice that of neighborhoods with less than average incomes (Hope et al., 2003). Hope et al. (2003) observed a correlation between wealth and setting landscape setting and suggested that the term "luxury effect" described the relationship between wealth and plant diversity noting that as wealth increases humans occupy urban landscapes with higher plant diversity (Hope et al., 2003). In a second study from Phoenix, Martin et al. (2004) studied the relationship between neighborhood socioeconomic status and the species richness of vegetation in residential neighborhoods and the species richness of vegetation in small city parks within the neighborhoods. Species richness increased from low to high socioeconomic status with most of variation explained by median family income. Pedlowski et al. (2002) study of vegetation in public spaces in neighborhoods in Campos dos Goyatacazes, Brazil. Number of trees and tree species diversity was positively correlated with neighborhood wealth and tree species diversity. Pedlowski et al. (2002) suggest
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that this relationship is explained by local government policy decisions.. Similar results were found in a study of trees in residential areas in Hobart, Australia (Kirkpatrick, Daniels, & Zagorski, 2007). Flocks et al., (2011) study of tree cover and tree species diversity in MiamiDade County Florida. USA revealed a relationship between race and ethnicity and tree species diversity. Neighborhoods with a majority of white residents had higher tree species diversity than black and hispanic neighborhoods, whereas black neighborhoods had lower tree species diversity than white and hispanic neighborhoods. Flocks et al. (2011) suggested that these differences may be due to differences in housing tenure which in turn influence residents' decision concerning tree planting and management. These empirical studies support theories that socioeconomic factors may drive land management and decision making processes that ultimately shape patterns of biodiversity in cities. Work linking socioeconomic factors to specific management and decision making processes, and in turn linking those processes to patterns of diversity is needed. And, studies across a wider range of cities, particularly cities in the developing world are needed to better understand similarities and differences in socioeconomic factors, decision making and biodiversity.
3.11. Influence of landscape design styles on urban biodiversity
At the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century the world experienced massive globalization. Usually globalization firstly connects to economical, political and cultural aspects. There is also a fourth dimension of globalisation - the ecological. Globalization is strongly associated with westernisation and accepting western lifestyle, ideals and cultural preferences in non-Western countries (Ignatieva & Smertin 2007). Globalization is based on capitalism and consumerism - the phenomena having its roots in 19th century European cultural traditions (Waters 1995). One of the most influential countries to promote capitalism and its values of individualistic and egocentric orientation was Great Britain (19th-beginning of 20th century) through its powerful colonial policy, and the USA (20th century) in the era of American economic, political and cultural hegemony (King 1990). So it is hardly surprising that today the world has accepted highly Europeanised and Americanised visions of urban structure, landscape architecture styles, choice of plants, cultural preferences (fast food, theme parks and shopping malls), and shaping of the urban environment-landscape of consumerism.
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The main consequence of globalization is the process of homogenization of cultures and environments. Today urban environments with similar urban planning structure, architectural buildings, public parks and gardens, plants, networks of shops, hotels and restaurants and standardised food form one of the most important parts of a homogenized global culture. There are, however, strong movements from around the globe which is trying to struggle with the process of unification and homogenization of our urban global landscape and search for more sustainable models for urban environments that retain unique national identities. Conservation of urban biodiversity is seen as one of the most powerful tools in achieving this task.
3.11.1. Landscape architecture styles and urban biodiversity There are several landscape architecture styles that were developed during the history of landscape architecture in Europe and accepted by USA and other countries. The most influential landscape architecture styles which were 'chosen' by the globalization process to be representative of Western capitalism are simplified versions of English landscape and Gardenesque styles.
The English landscape style is based on the principles developed by William Kent and "Capability Brown" followed by principles of the Picturesque Movement, which reshaped not only English landscape by the end of the 18th-beginning of 19th century but the rest of Europe and colonial countries such as Australia and New Zealand. Images of curvilinear landscapes with gentle rises, bright green grass and scattered groves, woodlands or single deciduous trees, romantic bridges and pavilions with scenic views were also accepted as an essential theoretical design solution for public urban parks. The famous American landscape architect, the' father of landscape architecture', Frederick Law Olmsted with his Central Park literally blessed the appearance of large natural looking public parks in the cities around the globe. This particular park prototype, based on the English model, became almost a generalised western solutionclichй-symbol for designing urban public parks (Schenker 2007). Modern parks lost the original meaning of The Picturesque, symbolism and spirituality ("the melodramatic imagination") and they have usually implemented a very simplified structure-lawn with scattered groups of trees and single trees, pond or lake and curvilinear pathways. Today parks of The Picturesque break
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national and cultural boundaries and endow many local historical and natural landscapes to imitate this style (Figure 6).
Figure 6. Chatsworth Park in England (example of original English landscape style) and one of public parks in Adelaide, Australia as an example of global picturesque. Photo: (M.Ignatieva).
The English based Gardenesque style which followed Picturesque started to be an even more influential signature in Western landscape architecture style. Gardenesque is directly related to the industrial revolution in Europe and the successful British colonial voyages. This style, celebrating artificiality and extravagancy, was directly opposite to the picturesque with its glory of naturalness (Zuylen 1995).
Gardenesque was an essential part of Victorian era which can without doubt be named the mother of Western cultural tradition. Eclecticism in architectural and landscape styles, preferred use of exotic plants, development of Botanic Garden displays, glasshouses with unusual palms, ferns, cacti and other tropical and subtropical plants, garden shows all those Western codes came from the Victorian period. Eclecticism in landscape style means the revival of different traditions of formal gardens, as well as introduction of unusual Chinese style buildings and plants and by the end of 19th century also 'Japanaiserie'. The Victorian era was also a time of exchange of plants from new lands and introduction of these plants to private and public gardens (Thacker 1979). Elements such as lawn (as a special 'display' for numerous exotic plants) and carpet flower beds were popular not only in European countries but introduced to all British colonies
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and at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century worldwide. From the tremendous variety of annual exotic plants which were used in Victorian flower beds, the most popular flowering species which are used today as global gardenesque are Petunia (Petunia x hybrida), Marigolds (Tagetes spp.), Salvia (Salvia splendens), Begonia (Begonia semperflorens), Coleus, Echeveria, Lobelia, Cineraria and various Pelargonium. Similar to picturesque, global gardenesque is quite a simplified version of Victorian time which has completely lost its meaning and innovative character. Today it is just a symbol of a 'pretty', 'colourful' and 'beautiful' urban homogeneous 'global' landscape based on exotic plants. Even climatic differences do not have too much influence on the acceptance of these symbolic Western elements. For example in the tropics there are plenty of examples of colorful flower beds displayed on emerald green lawns. Lawn, which plays an essential role in picturesque and gardenesque styles, is now one of the most powerful symbols of Western culture. Lawns can be found today not only in Europe, USA and New Zealand but also in the Middle East, all African and South American countries, and China and Japan (Figure 7).
Figure 7. Global gardenesque: flowerbeds in Beijing(China), Wellington (New Zealand) and Moscow (Russia) (Photo: M. Ignatieva).
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3.11.2. Plant material Analysis of randomly chosen plant material catalogues of nurseries from temperate zones in the USA (Northern Nurseries, Cicero, NY 2001), Germany (Lorberg 2005) New Zealand (Southern Woods Nursery in Christchurch, and Ashton Glen Nursery in Otago and Russia (Dinos PARK in St. Petersburg) confirms the unification of plant material on a global scale and the direct connection of plant material lists in modern nurseries with planting design history creating a pool of "chosen" plants (Ignatieva 2011a).
In temperate countries the most favorable plants which were chosen to be global plants, were European deciduous trees and shrubs (reference to European plants native to the motherland of the picturesque) and some conifers that were also connected to the development of European garden styles at the end of the 19th/beginning of the 20th centuries (Victorian and following Edwardian styles). Among them were Pinus spp., Picea spp., Chamaecyparis lawsoniana cultivars, Juniperus spp. and Thuja spp., Betula spp., Prunus spp., Salix spp., Populus spp., Quercus spp., Ulmus spp., Acer spp., Fraxinus spp., Rhododendron spp., Tulipa spp., Narcissus spp., Rosa spp., Dahlia spp. and Chrysanthemum spp.. For annual flowerbed displays the global gardenesque favourites areTagetes, Petunia, Viola and Pelargonium. They are prevalent in all temperate plant nurseries. European lawn grasses such as Lolium perenne, Poa pratensis, Agrostis capillaris and Festuca rubra are the most common species of temperate global lawn mixtures. In tropical and subtropical countries the available plant material is also the result of English Victorian garden activity. The Industrial Revolution with its opportunities to build glasshouses together with the enthusiasm of colonial botanists, explorers and commercial plant hunters resulted in the creation of the core of favorite tropical and subtropical plants, which were first collected and displayed in Kew Botanic Gardens (the Palm House). British glasshouses were responsible for creating the Western image of a modern tropical paradise.
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The process of choosing the most appropriate beautiful and unusual tropical and subtropical plants in greenhouses started in Victorian England and ended in the crystallisation of the Western image of 'tropical Eden' based on exotic plants from all over the world. Chosen plants started to grow in commercial plant nurseries . Modern global tropical resorts, urban private gardens or public parks are all based on the same unified group of tropical and subtropical plants (mostly exotic to the local areas). The most popular plants are: palms, South American Bougainvillea, Chinese Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), South-East Asian orchids, African bird of paradise (Strelitzia), South American Plumeria and Australian Casuarina. Botanical Institutions all over the Victorian British Empire helped to epitomise the image of the 'lost Eden' (McCracken 1997, Soderstrom 2001). By the beginning of the 20th century the landscape structure (based on gardenesque principles) and plant collections of English Victorian botanical had become very powerful part of British imperialism and global horticultural Western signature in global urban culture.
The globalisation process today is strongly associated with acceptance and the introduction of all kinds of Western cultural clichйs (McDonaldization, global tourism and recreation, landscape architecture 'capitalism') resulted in homogenization of the urban environment and suppression of local biodiversity in all climatic zones (temperate and tropical).
3.12. Understanding of urban biodiversity today The ecological and identity crisis experienced in modern cities pushed designers to search for inspiration in indigenous landscapes and to find a place for nature in urban environments. Understanding of the potential role of urban biodiversity as a crucial part of the urban ecosystem and an important ecological and cultural integrity player can change the whole approach to urban and landscape design. The native component of biodiversity (native flora and fauna) began to be appreciated more and more as one of the most important tools for developing urban ecological and cultural identity.
Because of the differences in landscape origins, climate and historical development, there are
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different approaches to understanding urban biodiversity and the way it reinforces design in Northern and Southern Hemisphere countries (Table 2).
3.12.1. Two views on understanding urban biodiversity
Table 2. Two views on understanding urban biodiversity
Northern Hemisphere (Europe)
Southern Hemisphere (New Zealand, Australia and South Africa)
Origin of Western civilisation with its Englishness of urban environment.
established design language
Introduction of familiar plants from the
Most common urban biotopes (forests, group of trees and shrubs, lawns and even wastelands) based mostly on indigenous flora
Hosts for more exotic organisms than anywhere else on Earth because of a benign climate, broad species niches and in some cases freedom from natural control agents
Seed banks contain mostly indigenous plants Dramatic changes and loss of native landscapes
The vast majority of non-native species pose no threat to native plant communities, only a small number (compared to the whole flora) are invasive
Protection and restoration of biodiversity is task number one
Acceptance of local species as part of New Zealand today has to even use the terms
Native Biodiversity or Indigenous Biodiversity
Most modern architectural and landscape design approaches originated in Europe and have an old established design language. Most urban parks, gardens and other landscape architecture types are based on indigenous flora. Seed banks in European urban biotopes contain mostly native plants. There are quite a few non-native species used in landscape design but only a small number of them (compared to whole flora) became invasive and competitive in native plant communities. For example 10% of all introduced species in Central Europe are able to spread and only 2% become permanent members of the local floras and only 1% is able to survive in natural plant communities (Sukopp & Wurzel 2003).
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In Southern Hemisphere (New Zealand, Australia and South Africa) cities "Englishness" is the main characteristic of the urban environment. Homesick colonists enthusiastically introduced as many familiar images and plants as possible from the motherland. Many introduced species were very successful, growing quicklyin new benign environments. Favourable climate, absence of natural control agents and in many cases broad species niches facilitated the spread of exotic organisms. Many countries experienced dramatic changes and loss of native landscapes. It is therefore not surprising that protection and restoration of biodiversity is task number one in Southern Hemisphere countries.
New Zealand especially exhibits dramatic examples of native ecosystems loss. Today the number of naturalised non-native plants are the same as the number of indigenous vascular plants (2500) and 20,000 exotic species are used in cultivation. Indigenous plant communities were removed for farming, forestry and urban development. The speed with which the New Zealand native biota has been suppressed is unprecedented (Meurk 2007). New Zealand is losing the battle to introduced weeds and has to use even the terms such "native biodiversity" or "indigenous urban biodiversity" (Meurk & Swaffield 2007). The native flora is especially decimated in urban environments.
Understanding biodiversity in the USA has its own peculiarities. Most urban and landscape design prototypes were also adapted from Europe. Many European plants arrived during the first periods of American history. States situated in the temperate zone were lucky to have very similar to Western Europe native deciduous forests with 'familiar' looking plants such as Quercus, Acer, Fraxinus, Ulmus and Tilia. Today most urban trees in the eastern part of North America are native to North America (Nowak 2010). Nevertheless there are a large number of European and Asian species in urban parks and gardens which arrived to the US with different landscape architecture styles from Europe. Lawn mixtures, shrub species for rock gardens, annual flower displays and perennial flower borders share the same global Western image and plant list.
In subtropical, tropical, desert and Mediterranean-type environments in the USA (e.g. Arizona,
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Florida, California) cities share more global 'tropical paradise' plants where exotic plants are dominant and experience dramatic loss of indigenous vegetation and ecological crisis. European approach to urban biodiversity design can be summarized as following: ·Reinforcing nature ·Reintroducing nature ·Designing with natural process ·Free as many spaces as possible for increasing biodiversity (use even very small biotopes) within the urban environment ·Relaxed and well-justified view on using combination of native and non-native species as a tool for increasing urban biodiversity Southern Hemisphere approach can be seen as following: · Developing its own strategy based on local climatic and historical traditions with an emphasis on increasing the planting or revegetation of indigenous plants · The clichйs "living in harmony with nature" or "appreciation of nature" have to specify the use of native flora and fauna and special efforts of direct planting of native plants · Most of Northern Hemisphere approaches such as "leave nature alone-going wild" do not work here: soil banks in urban environments contain mostly exotic species.The design model for urban biodiversity in the USA combines apporaches from Europe and Australia and New Zealand. approach to biodiversity design is combining both approaches, and in common with Australian and New Zealand visions on urban biodiversity design is strongly correlated with urban sustainability concepts (Swaffield 2003).
3.13. Design of urban biodiversity There are several approaches to urban biodiversity design being addressed by planners and landscape architects at different scales across the landscape.
3.13.1. Large--scale projects which address urban biodiversity
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The Garden City movement founded in 1898 by Sir Ebenezer Howard (United Kingdom) for the first time in urban planning history proposed elements such as abundant green areas in the form of public parks, green belts, boulevards and private gardens and the principle of self-sufficiency which can be seen as a prototype for modern urban sustainability concepts.
The Garden City movement was influential in development of New Towns after World War II by the British government who also concentrated on new urban concepts with emphasis on policy, housing and planning systems in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. Even though these approaches did not directly identify urban biodiversity as a goal, they can be seen as the first large scale British projects that contributed to improving urban biodiversity.
Large-scale (landscape scale) biodiversity design can be found in broad, public policy-related projects by the end of 20th ­beginning of 21st centuries. It is addressed in biodiversity planning, urban biotope mapping, green infrastructure and green corridors projects. Large-scale research in USA and Europe is first of all connected to the problem of general biodiversity decline as a result of habitat loss and fragmentation in rural and urban environments. The main idea of this approach is to acknowledge the joint efforts of landscape architects and planners before beginning any planning or design process. In the USA the concept of greenways, rooted in Frederick Law Olmsted Parkways concept andattempts to reintroduce nature into the city, is the most popular (Ignatieva et al 2011). Greenways are defined as a system of green corridors for conservation and recreation purposes. For example, the Florida Greenway System Planning Project aims to create greenways/corridors on the scale of whole state from rural, suburban to urban gradients and implements habitat connectivity with special design steps in the planning process (Ahern et al. 2006). Biodiversity conservation is one of the integral objectives of this project among others such as recreational opportunities, alternative transportation and conservation of natural and cultural heritage. Recently the concept of greenways was accepted also in New Zealand in the new project of Greenway of Canterbury (Spellerberg 2005).
Ecologically designed networks of green areas that were connected to and protected natural plant
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communities were a feature of planned cities , Science Towns, in Soviet Union in 1960-1980's. A policy of maximum protection of existing biodiversity in a large scale (urban planning) was a core feature of the Ecopolis Programme ­ the first attempt of creating sustainable Russian town in 1980's (Ignatieva 2002). The concept of creating green infrastructure which aims to connect different natural remnants and open spaces and provide conservation opportunities for biodiversity and economic, social and ecological sustainability are addressed in large multipurpose citywide urban planning schemes such as in Seattle (Envisioning Seattle's Green Future 2006). In Europe similar approaches are exploring green beltsand green wedges, fingers of open space which penetrate into or along the edge of the urban core (Helsinki, Copenhagen, Stockholm); ecological networks; and "ecopolises" aimed at connecting existing natural forests and open green spaces outside and inside the cities (Ignatieva et al. 2011, Beatley 2000, Ignatieva 2002, Kuznetsov & Ignatieva 2003). Greenbelts and green wedges have been adopted in many Asian cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul.
In these large-scale projects, design of biodiversity is a very important part of an integrated holistic approach of creating sustainable urban infrastructure. Green corridors along highways, railways, bikeways or riparian zones and park infrastructure fulfill the goal of enhancing biodiversity together with other goals (ecosystem services), for example, improving connectivity of green areas, creating recreational opportunities and improving urban climate. Planning and design of ecological networks at the beginning of the 21st century is seen as multidisciplinary involving all kinds of "potential" ecological spaces within the city. Remnants of original natural vegetation are always prioritized in this networking as a unique source of native biodiversity and local identity (Florgard 2009; Swaffield et al 2009).
3.13.2. Existing approaches to design urban biodiversity: intermediate scale (community scale) This approach is a crucial part of sustainable practice at the neigbourhood level (microdistrict, subdivision or housing complexes).
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In the USA Low Impact Development (LID) focuses on urban biodiversity protection, and reinforcing and designing with nature. Low Impact Development is part of a whole sustainable practice which includes green buildings, solar heating, water harvesting and water management, green roofs, retention ponds, bioswales, rain gardens, waste recycling and compost facilities. Key strategies of American LID are to introduce compact urban design and development, conserve and restore vegetation and soils, site design to minimize impervious surfaces, and manage storm water. . Low Impact Development is a growing design approach in western part of the USA (Seattle, Portland) in Chicago (Midwest) and some areas on the east coast (Eason et al. 2003, Weinstein & English 2008). The main reasons behind the USA Low Impact Development are to address the impacts tremendous urbanisation and suburban sprawl. Rapid urbanisatin and sprawl have been associted with fragmentation and loss of natural habitats, high levels of consumerism and related unsustainable lifestyle, using a large number of non-native plants and landscapes dominated lawns,a cultural American phenomenon with associated problems of pollution, and wastage of energy and water. New Zealand has also experienced similar problems to the USA in urban environments and so it is not surprising to see the development of Low Impact Urban Design and Development (LIUDD) projects. A strong emphasis in this approach is given to researching and applying different sustainable storm water management devices (similar to the USA): bioswales, rain gardens, green roofs and pervious surfaces. In contrast to the US protoptype, New Zealand LIUDD emphasizes protection and enhanment of urban biodiversity by specifically employing native plants and attracting native species of wildlife (Ignatieva et al. 2008a). Because of problems with naturalized exotic plants and sensitive native ecosystems, New Zealand has to created its own guidelines for constructing bioswales, rain gardens and green roofs, and directing the practical field of using suitable native plants in the applications of LIUDD (How to Put Nature into Our Neighbourhood: Application of Low Impact Urban Design and Development (LIUDD) Principles, with a Biodiversity Focus, for New Zealand Developers and Homeowners 2008).
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Figure 8. Rain garden in Portland, Oregon, USA and green roof, rain garden and detention pond in Augustenborg, Malmц, Sweden Elements of LID practice can be found in some European cities for example in Stockholm, Copenhagen and Malmц (Figure 8). One of the existing approaches to biodiversity design in Sheffield (UK) is part of broader sustainability practice associated with the establishing and management of new residential subdivisions. The conceptual framework in Sheffield is based on design of "anthropogenic nature-like" communities and synthesis of new plant communities that never before existed in urban sites and cannot be found in any flora. This view is based on understanding plant community composition and dynamics, use of a combination of native and non-native species and highly influenced by design considerations: the appearance of a plant community (Hitchmough & Dunnett 2004). The vision of biodiversity design in Adelaide (Australia) is also part of a holistic sustainable approach. The program "Ecopolis" (the case study of Christie Walk) incorporates use of native plants in design together with sustainable materials, innovative architecture of buildings and introduction of edible community gardens along with storm water storage devices (Downton & Ignatieva 2007).
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3.13.3. Existing approaches to design urban biodiversity: small-scale (habitat scale) These design practices deal mostly with reinforcing, reintroducing and designing biodiversity on a small scale such as parks, gardens and single habitats (road sides, streets, brown fields, wastelands, meadows, front and backyards, green walls and green roofs). Such habitats are increasingly viewed from the angle of core patches (stepping stones) and sources of biodiversity in urban green infrastructure. The London Biodiversity Partnership tries to develop a strategic plan for reserving urban habitats and species in the Greater London area (Beatley 2000).One approaches developed in recent years in the United Kingdom is the design of different types of naturalistic herbaceous plant communities for urban neighbourhoods. This approach mimics the spatial and structural form of semi-natural vegetation and at the same time utilises special attractive visual and functional characteristics (color and texture for example) that can be absent in the native flora (Hitchmough 2004). The main argument of such design is the importance of balancing different values of biodiversity and attractiveness for humans. Pictorial meadows for example use seed mixes of native and non-native bright colored species and can be seen as a wildlife-friendly and costeffective replacement for traditional sterile lawns (Dunnett 2008, figure 9). Very close to this biodiversity design strategy is "Go Wild" (Kew Botanic Gardens exhibits in 2003) where nature is left alone and not trimmed to look tidy. The aim of these exhibits was to show ways of increasing wildlife biodiversity in private gardens for example by minimising traditional lawn areas and planting native (and some non-native) plants that attract wildlife: butterflies, insects and birds.
Figure 9. Pictorial meadow in Sheffield, UK
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Germany actively developed the field of urban ecology after the Second World War. The work of Herbert Sukopp, "the father of urban ecology" highlighted a research direction on urban biotopes, spontaneous vegetation, and biotope mapping. The "Go Spontaneous" (design with spontaneous vegetation) approachdates back to Karl-Heinrich Hьlbusch and the "Kasseler Schule der Landschafts- und Freiraumplanung" (Kassel School of landscape and open space planning, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Freiraum und Vegetation 1986) and now is a popular planting design paradigm in Germany (Ignatieva 2011a). Spontaneous in this case means vegetation which appears on the site by accident (from the existing site seed bank or natural dispersal) and without conscious design intent. This approach aims first of all at reinforcing of natural plant community processes (succession) and "make spontaneous vegetation more attractive" and "alternative to ornamental plantings in the city" (Kuhn 2006). The idea to use spontaneous plant communities for landscape design resulted in the development of a new aesthetically acceptable vision of wastelands and pioneer plant communities and created a great potential for redesigning of industrial zones and derelict sites. A very important point of this approach is an opportunity for increasing biodiversity by using both native and a combination of native and non-native species.
The Dutchman Jacob P. Thijsse (the father of the ecological design movement in the Netherlands) proposed the use of a plant communities approach in public park design,Amsterdam Boschplan, in that country. He advocated different plant communities from northeast European woods as the most suitable choice for Dutch planting design. Thijsse encouraged the use and propagation of wildflowers for garden design as an important mechanism for creating a sense of place and also for protecting rare species. Thijsse's efforts to protect indigenous vegetation (dunes, heath, moorland, woodland and wetland) are well known in Europe. His natural planting, grouping according to plant communities, grouping of wild plants, flowering meadows were based on natural indigenous plants (Ignatieva 2011a).
Many other European countries try to explore naturalistic approaches at the habitat scale which incorporate native and some exotic species in design and encouraging preserving and using spontaneous plant communities as important recourse for biodiversity. In temperate and Mediterranean climates European landscape architects argued for protection and reinforcing of
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indigenous vegetation as a most valuable source of urban biodiversity, design inspiration and social benefits (Florgard 2007, Castro 2008). In Northern Europe perennial schemes replaced traditional annual flowerbeds in private and public gardens. The main arguments for this approach are economical (less maintenance compare to traditional Victorian bedding plants and correlation to Nordic climatic conditions) plus longer flowering period and high biodiversity value (Ignatieva 2011b).
The USA has considerable research of applying principles of landscape ecology to urban areas. The Midwest has quite an experience of working with reintroduction of native prairie plants in different urban habitats for example pioneering design works of Ossian Cole Simonds and Jen Jensen in creating Prairie Style in landscape architecture. In Joan Nassauer's 'messy ecosystems, orderly frames' approach native prairie and wet meadow plants play an important role in midwest urban neighbourhoods (Nassauer 1995). The echo of Prairie Style can be clearly seen in the design of the Millennium Park in Chicago. One of the Park's themes is referencing Chicago's original plant communities. Plant material in this park is dominated by native prairie species and some non-native perennials.
Many states in the USA actively propagandize initiatives of biodiversity introduction to front and back yards of private gardens, streets and sides of roads and highways. The programs such as "Backyard Conservation" (USDA NRCC 1998), "Going Native", Lady Bird Johnson National Wildflower Centre and National Wildlife Federation aim to inspire Americans to protect wildlife habitats based on native plant species for future generations.
In the states with dry arid climate (Arizona, New Mexico and California) the designing of xeric landscapes is the way to conserve water and move away from unsustainable lawns and other "classical" features of water consuming temperate gardening traditions. This approach also accepted drought tolerant native desert plants as a tool of increasing biodiversity and achieving sustainability (Knopf et al. 2002).
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There is one particular habitat that has attracted the attention of designers and urban ecologists in the last decade, the green roof. This urban biotope has a good potential to be a biodiversity resource and at the same time to be a part of sustainable water design devise (provides slower release of runoff, improves Energy Efficiency and extends roof life) within the urban environment.
In the Southern Hemisphere, countries such New Zealand and Australia have developed their own 'going native' approach in fine scale design with exclusive emphasis on increasing indigenous biodiversity (Spellerberg & Given 2004). Since the 1990's 'plant signatures' that reflect indigenous New Zealand plant communities and provide a memorable expression of local particular place have been a very popular planting design 'language' (Robinson 1993). Plant signatures are actively used in the Low Impact Urban Design and Development programme as new 'ecological' solutions for design at a detailed level-for private gardens, street, traffic islands, pervious parking spaces, swales and ponds (Ignatieva et al. 2008b).
Australia has also shifted towards designing with native plants and attracting biodiversity in private gardens (Urquhart 1999). Design with native plants for Australia is important for increasing indigenous biodiversity and most importantly in association with national identity. Native plants have appeared next to the national galleries and other important government buildings.
For both New Zealand and Australia promoting design with native plants is first of all propaganda of new ecological aesthetic which celebrates the distinctiveness of local flora as well as satisfies the desire for visual and horticultural interest in street, parks and private gardens.
There are only a few references available in English on biodiversity and design in South America. World famous Brazilian architect Roberto Burle Marx was one of the best and famous advocates of inspiration and echoed the native landscapes and using indigenous plants for landscape design (second part of 20th century) (Vaccarino 2000). Today Fernando Chacel is pioneering works with restoration of different types of landscapes using native species (Chacel
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2001). Paolo Pellegrino is advocating research on sustainability, green infrastructure and biodiversity in Brazilian cities (Frischenbruder & Pellegrino 2006) and Cecilia Herzog on landscape ecological planning and biodiversity reinforcing in Rio de Janeiro (Herzog 2008).
Modern private gardens in Argentinean cities are based mostly on exotic global plant material (Faggi & Madanes 2008; Faggi & Ignatieva 2009). There are growing movements in this country of using some native plants from different plant communities as an important recourse for increasing the indigenous component of urban biodiversity in Argentina (Burgueсo et al. 2005, Bernata 2007).
Compared to countries with temperate climate, tropical and arid cities in Africa, India, South East Asia, Indonesia and the Middle East are much slower in research and providing different design solutions on urban biodiversity on different landscape scales. Fast growing megacities are catching up in acceptance of Anglo-American global landscape signatures and developing international modern civilized examples of public and private parks and gardens. International American and British landscape architecture firms found a new market in these countries and broadly advocate 'global consumer culture'. Western landscape architecture created brands such as lawns (symbol of clean and green', golf courses (symbol of western gentlemen style and prosperity), palms and bright coloured plants (powerful Victorian landscape symbol) and ironically advocated this vision as sustainable and an ideal combination of nature and civilisation. For example in a recently established specialised Landscape Magazine in the Middle East, the "Landscape", new sustainable golf course development is widely advertised. How can a golf course be sustainable in the desert? Among progressive landscape designers is a growing concern of unprecedented acceptance of western landscape consumerism and dramatic loss of local cultural traditions and suppressing native plant communities (Donald 2007, Roehr 2007). Lawns for example are seen as a very "sustainable" element in desert environment in Dubai because of its "green" image and exotic plants are declared ecological because they provide cooling of urban microclimate in the desert urban environment (Taylor 2008). The real essence of landscape and urban ecology as a science that works and respects natural processes is lost in the process of globalization and consumption of landscape architecture.
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3.14. Outlooks Urban biodiversity is determined by the planning, design and management of the built environment, which are, in turn, influenced by the economic, social and cultural values and dynamics of the human population. With the rapid growth of an increasingly urban world sustainable urban development including the management and design of urban biodiversity is of crucial importance to the future of global biodiversity. Most of new innovative sustainable design concepts can be seen as a powerful visual tools for reinforcing urban biodiversity and make it more visible and recognizable for the general public in everyday life. The most recent trends in landscape design are going even broader (ecosystem approach) and include not only plants but insects, invertebrates and birds for example creating a bird's, butterfly or lizard's gardens (Barnett, 2008) or incorporate beehives next to plantings (Figure 10).
Figure 10. "Lizard Park" in Zurich (Switzerland). Photo: M. Ignatieva
In the time of urbanization and recent financial crisis, there is returning interest to creating urban edible landscapes (community gardens and orchards, edible lawns) which can replace unsustainable common urban biotopes such as lawns and flowerbeds which require lot of energy and resources (Allen et al., 2010).
New trends in design of urban biodiversity directly correlate with the socioeconomicsituation in a city. The economiccrisis and climate change have resulted in searches for an integrated concept
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of design for urban biodiversity on different scales: from master plan levels (creating connection and integrated green infrastructure) to medium scale (design residential green areas or public parks) to fine scale of " living streets", green roofs and domestic lawns. Now it is a time for creating different design palettes with desirable urban plants which can change the face of our cites and make it not only sustainable but recognizable and memorable. Today there are several approaches to design of urban biodiversity which are addressed by planners and designers in different scales across the landscape. The question of urban biodiversity is the part of a big scale concept of sustainable green infrastructure and Sustainable Cities as Resilient Citylands (Berg, 2010; Ignatieva, Berg, 2011).
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