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Forests 2016, 7(7), 146; doi:10.3390/f7070146

City “Green” Contributions: The Role of Urban Greenspaces as Reservoirs for Biodiversity

1
Instituto de Ecología, A.C. (INECOL), Carretera antigua a Coatepec 351, El Haya, Xalapa 91070, Veracruz, Mexico
2
Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas, Universidad Veracruzana. Avenida Luis Castelazo Ayala s/n., Xalapa 91190, Veracruz, Mexico
3
Facultad de Biología, Universidad Veracruzana, Circuito Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán s/n, Zona Universitaria, Xalapa 91070, Veracruz, Mexico
These authors collaborated equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Francisco Escobedo, Stephen John Livesley and Justin Morgenroth
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 5 July 2016 / Accepted: 6 July 2016 / Published: 15 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban and Periurban Forest Diversity and Ecosystem Services)
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Abstract

Urbanization poses important environmental, social, and ecological pressures, representing a major threat to biodiversity. However, urban areas are highly heterogeneous, with some greenspaces (e.g., urban forests, parks, private gardens) providing resources and a refuge for wildlife communities. In this study we surveyed 10 taxonomic groups to assess their species richness and composition in six greenspaces that differ in size, location, management, and human activities. Species richness differed among taxonomic groups, but not all differed statistically among the studied greenspaces (i.e., sac fungi, bats). Plants, basidiomycetous and sac fungi, and birds showed intermediate assemblage composition similarity (<54%). The composition of assemblages of copro-necrophagous beetles, grasshoppers, amphibians, and bats was related to the specific traits of greenspaces, mainly size and location. The species richness contribution of each greenspace considering all studied taxonomic groups was highest in the largest greenspace that is located at the southeastern border of the city, while the lowest contribution was recorded in the smallest ones, all of them closer to the city’s center. Our results shed some light on the way in which different taxonomic groups respond to an array of neotropical urban greenspaces, providing an important basis for future studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban ecology; urban forests; multi-taxonomic analysis; Neotropics; Mexico; urbanization; species-area relationships; turnover rates; greenspace management; assemblage urban ecology; urban forests; multi-taxonomic analysis; Neotropics; Mexico; urbanization; species-area relationships; turnover rates; greenspace management; assemblage
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

MacGregor-Fors, I.; Escobar, F.; Rueda-Hernández, R.; Avendaño-Reyes, S.; Baena, M.L.; Bandala, V.M.; Chacón-Zapata, S.; Guillén-Servent, A.; González-García, F.; Lorea-Hernández, F.; Montes de Oca, E.; Montoya, L.; Pineda, E.; Ramírez-Restrepo, L.; Rivera-García, E.; Utrera-Barrillas, E. City “Green” Contributions: The Role of Urban Greenspaces as Reservoirs for Biodiversity. Forests 2016, 7, 146.

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