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Article

Quantifying Long-Term Urban Grassland Dynamics: Biotic Homogenization and Extinction Debts

1
Unit of Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
2
Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme, University of Helsinki, Niemenkatu 73, FI-15140 Lahti, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1989; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051989
Received: 27 December 2019 / Revised: 13 February 2020 / Accepted: 15 February 2020 / Published: 5 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Urban Development)
Sustainable urban nature conservation calls for a rethinking of conventional approaches. Traditionally, conservationists have not incorporated the history of the landscape in management strategies. This study shows that extant vegetation patterns are correlated to past landscapes indicating potential extinction debts. We calculated urban landscape measures for seven time periods (1938–2019) and correlated it to three vegetation sampling events (1995, 2012, 2019) using GLM models. We also tested whether urban vegetation was homogenizing. Our results indicated that urban vegetation in our study area is not currently homogenizing but that indigenous forb species richness is declining significantly. Furthermore, long-term studies are essential as the time lags identified for different vegetation sampling periods changed as well as the drivers best predicting these changes. Understanding these dynamics are critical to ensuring sustainable conservation of urban vegetation for future citizens. View Full-Text
Keywords: time lags; conservation; landscape history; urban vegetation; legacy effects time lags; conservation; landscape history; urban vegetation; legacy effects
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MDPI and ACS Style

du Toit, M.J.; Kotze, D.J.; Cilliers, S.S. Quantifying Long-Term Urban Grassland Dynamics: Biotic Homogenization and Extinction Debts. Sustainability 2020, 12, 1989. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051989

AMA Style

du Toit MJ, Kotze DJ, Cilliers SS. Quantifying Long-Term Urban Grassland Dynamics: Biotic Homogenization and Extinction Debts. Sustainability. 2020; 12(5):1989. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051989

Chicago/Turabian Style

du Toit, Marié J.; Kotze, D. J.; Cilliers, Sarel S. 2020. "Quantifying Long-Term Urban Grassland Dynamics: Biotic Homogenization and Extinction Debts" Sustainability 12, no. 5: 1989. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051989

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