Next Article in Journal
Financial Deepening, Spatial Spillover, and Urban–Rural Income Disparity: Evidence from China
Previous Article in Journal
Linking Corporate Environmental Performance to Financial Performance of Pakistani Firms: The Roles of Technological capability and Public awareness
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Function of A Set-Aside Railway Bridge in Connecting Urban Habitats for Animals: A Case Study
Open AccessArticle

Squeezed from All Sides: Urbanization, Invasive Species, and Climate Change Threaten Riparian Forest Buffers

1
Research and Conservation Division, Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA 19348, USA
2
Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
3
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
4
Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences, GeoTech Lab, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD 21853, USA
5
Department of Geography-Earth Science, Center for Land Use and Sustainability, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, PA 17257, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1448; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041448 (registering DOI)
Received: 31 December 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2020 / Accepted: 13 February 2020 / Published: 15 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Urban Development)
Streamside forests of urbanizing coastal regions lie at the nexus of global changes: rising sea levels, increasing storm surge, expanding urban development, and invasive species. To understand how these combined stressors affect forest conditions, we identified forest patches adjacent to urban land, analyzed adjacent land cover, modeled forest inundation, and sampled 100 sites across the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay watersheds. We found that the majority of forest patches are adjacent to urban land and projected flooding will affect 8–19% of regional forested land. We observed non-native invasive plants in 94% of forest plots. Trees were predominantly native, but over half of shrub stems were invasive species and more than 80% of plots contained invasive woody vines. Disturbance of human origin was correlated with abundance of invasive trees. Signs of deer activity were common. Richness and number of growth forms of invasive plants were related to adjacent agricultural land cover. These data reveal that streamside forests are impacted by the interacting stressors of urbanization, climate change, and invasive species spread. Our results emphasize the importance of protection and restoration of forests in urban regions and point to the need for a social-ecological systems approach to improve their condition. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest patch; storm surge; sea level rise; urban ecology; plant community; disturbance; social-ecological system; invasive species; climate change; spatial analysis forest patch; storm surge; sea level rise; urban ecology; plant community; disturbance; social-ecological system; invasive species; climate change; spatial analysis
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Johnson, L.R.; Trammell, T.L.E.; Bishop, T.J.; Barth, J.; Drzyzga, S.; Jantz, C. Squeezed from All Sides: Urbanization, Invasive Species, and Climate Change Threaten Riparian Forest Buffers. Sustainability 2020, 12, 1448.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop