Special Issue "Urban Biodiversity Conservation and Restoration"
A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 December 2011)
Prof. Dr. Michael L. McKinney (Website)
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, The University of Tennessee, 1412 Circle Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
Phone: +1 865 974-6359
Interests: urbanization; biodiversity; biotic homogenization; urban conservation; biological invasions
The human species is becoming urbanized at an astonishing rate. In 1910, just 10% of humanity lived in cities. By 2007, this proportion exceeded 50% and by 2025, it is estimated that two-thirds of the global population will be urbanized. The large majority of this urban growth (over 95%) will occur in developing nations which contain most of our planet’s remaining biodiversity. Conservation biologists therefore urgently need to focus much more research examining the impacts of urbanization on biodiversity, and ways to mitigate these impacts. This research directly contrasts with the long history of ecological research which has preferred to focus on pristine ecosystems “undisturbed” by human interactions. While seemingly contradictory, there is much evidence that urbanization can preserve biodiversity in several ways. People living in cities tend to have smaller per-capita impacts on the environment, for example, compared to people in rural areas. This is especially true where “sustainable” city planning has reduced the urban footprint by design by improved mass transit, large connected green spaces, public education about nature conservation, and native plant landscaping to name a few examples. This issue will focus on research that addresses these various ways that urbanization can be a positive factor in biodiversity preservation at the local, regional and global scales.
Prof. Dr. Michael L. McKinney
- sustainable cities
- urban ecology
- biotic homogenization
- urban conservation
- biological invasions