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Combining the Conservation of Biodiversity with the Provision of Ecosystem Services in Urban Green Infrastructure Planning: Critical Features Arising from a Case Study in the Metropolitan Area of Rome

Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
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Academic Editors: Karsten Grunewald and Olaf Bastian
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010010
Received: 5 August 2016 / Revised: 28 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 December 2016 / Published: 23 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs)
A large number of green infrastructure (GI) projects have recently been proposed, planned and implemented in European cities following the adoption of the GI strategy by the EU Commission in 2013. Although this policy tool is closely related to biodiversity conservation targets, some doubts have arisen as regards the ability of current urban GI to provide beneficial effects not only for human societies but also for the ecological systems that host them. The aim of this work is to review the features that should be considered critical when searching for solutions that simultaneously support biodiversity and guarantee the provision of ecosystem services (ES) in urban areas. Starting from a case study in the metropolitan area of Rome, we highlight the role of urban trees and forests as proxies for overall biodiversity and as main ecosystem service providers. We look beyond the individual functional features of plant species and vegetation communities to promote the biogeographic representativity, ecological coherence and landscape connectivity of new or restored GI elements. View Full-Text
Keywords: biogeographic representativity; connectivity; ecological coherence; European Green Infrastructure Strategy; urban forests; urban trees biogeographic representativity; connectivity; ecological coherence; European Green Infrastructure Strategy; urban forests; urban trees
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Capotorti, G.; Del Vico, E.; Anzellotti, I.; Celesti-Grapow, L. Combining the Conservation of Biodiversity with the Provision of Ecosystem Services in Urban Green Infrastructure Planning: Critical Features Arising from a Case Study in the Metropolitan Area of Rome. Sustainability 2017, 9, 10.

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