Topic Editors

Prof. Dr. Maria Ignatieva
School of Design, The University of Western Australia (UWA), 6009 Perth, Australia
Dr. Diana Dushkova
Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology, Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), 04318 Leipzig, Germany
Prof. Dr. Charles Nilon
School of Natural Resources 302 ABNR, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

Urban Biodiversity and Design

Abstract submission deadline
closed (31 August 2022)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (20 November 2022)
Viewed by
15128

Topic Information

Dear colleagues,

The ongoing process of urban sprawl and densification of many cities worldwide has a negative impact on biodiversity, posing challenges to the existence of urban and native ecosystems and the survival of species within cities. In this regard, developing biodiversity-friendly cities is acknowledged as an essential element of sustainable urban development, resilience, and human wellbeing. This Topic is aiming to demonstrate and discuss the value of urban biodiversity in providing ecosystem services and the role of design and planning in mitigating urban environmental pressure on biodiversity. We also focus on the variety of approaches/pathways/perspectives developed in order to better understand and reinforce biodiversity in the urban environment; methods for assessing/evaluating urban biodiversity and practical measures for designing, restoring, and maintaining biodiversity in urban areas; interdisciplinary researches related to urban biodiversity; practical applications and guidelines related to urban biodiversity; theoretical overviews; cases studies of realised projects that are relevant to urban biodiversity and design. We welcome contributions that deal with the following topics:

  • biological, cultural, and social values of urban biodiversity (linked to ecosystem services);
  • urban flora and fauna, how to integrate nature into the urban neighborhood and achieve the balance (human–nature interaction);
  • biodiversity-sensitive landscape design actions and other approaches/best practices for better integration of biodiversity into the urban planning process and landscape architecture practice;
  • nature-based solutions and their multiple co-benefits linked to biodiversity aspects;
  • methodical approaches (e.g., a variety of participatory processes) and practical implications used to co-create biodiversity objectives with diverse stakeholders;
  • analysis, assessment, and evaluation of urban biodiversity linked to social and educational issues;
  • urban conservation policies and their implementation in the development of sustainable cities: practical measures for restoring and maintaining biodiversity in urban areas;
  • challenges and opportunities for the future of urban biodiversity (e.g., ongoing climate change, the impact of COVID-19 pandemics, other societal challenges).

Prof. Dr. Maria Ignatieva
Dr. Diana Dushkova
Prof. Dr. Charles Nilon
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • urban biodiversity
  • biodiversity-sensitive landscape design
  • sustainable design
  • nature-based solutions
  • resilient cities

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Diversity
diversity
3.031 2.9 2009 15.5 Days 1900 CHF
Forests
forests
3.282 4.0 2010 19.7 Days 2000 CHF
Land
land
3.905 3.2 2012 13.6 Days 2000 CHF
Sustainability
sustainability
3.889 5.0 2009 16.7 Days 2000 CHF
Urban Science
urbansci
- - 2017 14.4 Days 1200 CHF

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Published Papers (10 papers)

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Article
Unexpectedly, Creation of Temporary Water Bodies Has Increased the Availability of Food and Nesting Sites for Bees (Apiformes)
Forests 2022, 13(9), 1410; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13091410 - 02 Sep 2022
Viewed by 569
Abstract
Earthworks, such as embankments or excavations, because of their transient nature, usually do not play any important role in biodiversity protection and promotion in urban areas. However, the results of this study show that pits playing the role of infiltration basins, which are [...] Read more.
Earthworks, such as embankments or excavations, because of their transient nature, usually do not play any important role in biodiversity protection and promotion in urban areas. However, the results of this study show that pits playing the role of infiltration basins, which are filled with water only in some periods, can provide bees with food resources and nesting sites. They are particularly important in habitats with simplified vegetation structures, e.g., in monoculture habitats. The attractiveness of infiltration basins and ditches as habitats for bees was assessed by comparing species richness and abundance of bee communities found there with those of coniferous forests—pine monocultures (where the reservoirs were created) and clearings. The species richness and abundance of bees in clearings, infiltration ditches, and basins were higher than in forests. Simultaneously, we found that an increase in woody vegetation coverage and the level of shading in the daytime had a negative effect on bee abundance. In contrast, it was positively affected by increasing the mean radius of a belt of predominantly open habitats around sampling sites (herbaceous plants and seedlings of woody plants <60%). In this case, food resources were not a limiting factor of bee occurrence in the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Urban Biodiversity and Design)
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Article
Powerline Corridors Can Add Ecological Value to Suburban Landscapes When Not Maintained as Lawn
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7113; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127113 - 10 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1055
Abstract
Electric powerline corridors are informal green spaces that encompass large areas of land and have the potential to support biodiversity in urban and suburban landscapes. However, the extent to which these corridors provide novel habitats compared to the surrounding landscape is unclear. Biodiversity [...] Read more.
Electric powerline corridors are informal green spaces that encompass large areas of land and have the potential to support biodiversity in urban and suburban landscapes. However, the extent to which these corridors provide novel habitats compared to the surrounding landscape is unclear. Biodiversity in corridors is often compared to that of “natural” habitats despite the fact that the corridors are subject to frequent vegetation management. In urban and suburban landscapes, residential yards may provide a more appropriate comparison because they are a dominant type of green space and are also characterized by frequent vegetation management. We conducted a study of the biodiversity in suburban powerline corridors in northern Illinois, USA, and compared it to the biodiversity found in nearby residential yards. Our goal was to determine whether powerline corridors added ecological value to these suburban landscapes. We included three different management styles of powerline corridors: (1) frequently mowed and kept as lawn, (2) brush mowed on a five-year cycle (“old-field”), and (3) restored and/or maintained as native prairie. We measured the species richness and composition of plants, birds, and insect pollinators in corridors and yards. The corridor management types and comparison yards differed significantly in the richness of all three taxa, with old-field and/or prairie sites having greater species richness than mown corridors and/or comparison yards. Community composition also differed by management category. While the species richness of old-field sites tended to be high, prairie sites generally had more species of conservation interest. Our study shows that both old-field- and prairie-managed powerline corridors add habitat value to Midwestern U.S. suburban landscapes by providing alternative habitat types that support many species. Nonetheless, we suggest that managers looking to specifically support native and/or grassland specialist species in this region should manage sites as prairies when possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Urban Biodiversity and Design)
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Review
The Morpho-Physio-Biochemical Attributes of Urban Trees for Resilience in Regional Ecosystems in Cities: A Mini-Review
Urban Sci. 2022, 6(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci6020037 - 02 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1294
Abstract
Increased urbanization means human beings become the dominant species and reduction in canopy cover. Globally, urban trees grow under challenging and complex circumstances with urbanization trends of increasing anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, high temperature and drought stress. This study aims [...] Read more.
Increased urbanization means human beings become the dominant species and reduction in canopy cover. Globally, urban trees grow under challenging and complex circumstances with urbanization trends of increasing anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, high temperature and drought stress. This study aims to provide a better understanding of urban trees’ morpho-physio-biochemical attributes that can support sustainable urban greening programs and urban climate change mitigation policies. Globally, urban dwellers’ population is on the rise and spreading to suburban areas over time with an increase in domestic CO2 emissions. Uncertainty and less information on urban tree diversification and resistance to abiotic stress may create deterioration of ecosystem resilience over time. This review uses general parameters for urban tree physiology studies and employs three approaches for evaluating ecosystem resilience based on urban stress resistance in relation to trees’ morphological, physiological and biochemical attributes. Due to the lack of a research model of ecosystem resilience and urban stress resistance of trees, this review demonstrates that the model concept supports future urban tree physiology research needs. In particular, it is necessary to develop integral methodologies and an urban tree research concept to assess how main and combined effects of drought and/or climate changes affect indigenous and exotic trees that are commonly grown in cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Urban Biodiversity and Design)
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Review
Bibliometric Analysis of Global Research on Ecological Networks in Nature Conservation from 1990 to 2020
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 4925; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14094925 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1078
Abstract
As a nature-based solution to land-use sustainability, ecological networks (ENs) have received substantial attention from researchers, planners, and decision-makers worldwide. To portray the global research on ENs in nature conservation during the period of 1990–2020, 1371 papers in 53 subject categories were reviewed [...] Read more.
As a nature-based solution to land-use sustainability, ecological networks (ENs) have received substantial attention from researchers, planners, and decision-makers worldwide. To portray the global research on ENs in nature conservation during the period of 1990–2020, 1371 papers in 53 subject categories were reviewed with bibliometric methods and CiteSpace. The results showed a successive growth of publications at an annually averaged rate of 18.9% during the past three decades. Co-citation analysis indicated that the most popular topic was connectivity, on which the studies concentrated on quantifying connectivity, identifying priority areas, and integrating conservation planning. A recent hotspot is to study the landscape fragmentation effects on natural habitats or biodiversity under land-use changes in urbanized areas. Multidisciplinary approaches have been increasingly used to tackle more complex interplays among economic, social, ecological, and cultural factors, with the aim of alleviating ecological service losses attributed to human activities. Spatiotemporal dynamics and participatory design of ENs at different scales have become an emerging trend. In order to address increasing pressures on biodiversity or landscape connectivity brought about by land use and climate change, it is suggested to develop more research on the evaluation and management of the resilience of ENs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Urban Biodiversity and Design)
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Article
Not Only Trees Matter—Traffic-Related PM Accumulation by Vegetation of Urban Forests
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 2973; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052973 - 03 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 917
Abstract
In terms of the process of air purification, a lot of attention has been devoted to trees and shrubs. Little attention has been paid to herbaceous vegetation from the lower forest layers. Urban forests are often located on the outskirts of cities and [...] Read more.
In terms of the process of air purification, a lot of attention has been devoted to trees and shrubs. Little attention has been paid to herbaceous vegetation from the lower forest layers. Urban forests are often located on the outskirts of cities and surround exit roads where there is heavy traffic, generating particulate matter (PM) pollution. The aim of this study was to investigate the spread of PM from the road traffic in the air and to investigate how individual layers of urban forests accumulate PM. We conducted comparative analyses of PM accumulation on plants in five zones away from the road, into the forest, in the air, and in four vegetation layers: mosses, herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees. The results show that all forest layers accumulate PM. We show that PM is very efficiently accumulated by herbaceous plants growing along roadsides, and that the PM that was not deposited on herbaceous plants was accumulated by trees and shrubs. With increasing distance from the road into the forest, the PM content on herbaceous plants decreased and the accumulation on trees and shrubs increased. We estimated that PM concentration in the air dropped significantly in the front line of the trees, but it was still detectable up to 50 m into the forest. The results presented herein show that meadow vegetation and urban forests play a very important role in air purification. Our results provide a better understanding of the complexity of urban forest interactions and provide the basis for better planning of urban greenery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Urban Biodiversity and Design)
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Article
Using Analytic Hierarchy Process and Best–Worst Method in Group Evaluation of Urban Park Quality
Forests 2022, 13(2), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020290 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 938
Abstract
The paper compares two multi-criteria methods, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and the best–worst method (BWM), in assessing criteria related to the quality of urban parks. The criteria assessed were accessibility, location, biodiversity preservation, park equipment, water elements, terrain configuration, cultural and historical [...] Read more.
The paper compares two multi-criteria methods, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and the best–worst method (BWM), in assessing criteria related to the quality of urban parks. The criteria assessed were accessibility, location, biodiversity preservation, park equipment, water elements, terrain configuration, cultural and historical value, and the presence of small architectural objects. Five decision-makers participated in the research, having expertise in urban greenery, urban forestry, environmental protection, landscape design, and cultural and historical heritage. The results of decision-makers’ evaluations were compared at individual and group levels after the application of three aggregation procedures: CRITIC, ENTROPY, and WGGM (weighted geometric mean method). Similarities in results, i.e., priorities of analyzed criteria after applying the two different decision support methods, indicated high consistency between experts during the cognitive evaluation processes. All applied aggregation schemes performed well and may be considered trustworthy in identifying the group solution. One of the conclusions is that either the AHP or the BWM can be efficiently used in evaluations of criteria for assessing the quality of urban parks if the members of a group are consistent, regardless of whether the consensus process is properly carried out before the decision-making process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Urban Biodiversity and Design)
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Article
Analysis of Water Deer Roadkills Using Point Process Modeling in Chungcheongnamdo, South Korea
Forests 2022, 13(2), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020209 - 30 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1544
Abstract
The expansion of road networks and increased traffic loads have resulted in an increase in the problem of wildlife roadkill, which has a serious impact on both human safety and the wildlife population. However, roadkill data are collected primarily from the incidental sighting, [...] Read more.
The expansion of road networks and increased traffic loads have resulted in an increase in the problem of wildlife roadkill, which has a serious impact on both human safety and the wildlife population. However, roadkill data are collected primarily from the incidental sighting, thus they often lack the true-absence information. This study aims to identify the factors associated with Korean water deer (Hydropotes inermis) roadkill in Korea using the point processing modeling (PPM) approach. Water deer roadkill point data were fitted with explanatory variables derived from forest cover type, topography, and human demography maps and an animal distribution survey. Water deer roadkill showed positive associations with road density, human population density, road width, and water deer detection point density. Slope and elevation showed negative associations with roadkill. The traffic volume and adjacent water deer population may be the major driving factors in roadkill events. The results also imply that the PPM can be a flexible tool for developing roadkill mitigation strategy, providing analytical advantages of roadkill data, such as clarification of model specification and interpretation, while avoiding issues derived from a lack of true-absence information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Urban Biodiversity and Design)
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Article
Towards a “City in Nature”: Evaluating the Cultural Ecosystem Services Approach Using Online Public Participation GIS to Support Urban Green Space Management
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1499; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031499 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2636
Abstract
The concept of cultural ecosystem services has been increasingly influential in both environmental research and policy decision making, such as for urban green spaces. However, its popular definitions tend to conflate “services” with “benefits”, making it challenging for planners to employ them directly [...] Read more.
The concept of cultural ecosystem services has been increasingly influential in both environmental research and policy decision making, such as for urban green spaces. However, its popular definitions tend to conflate “services” with “benefits”, making it challenging for planners to employ them directly to manage urban green spaces. Thus, attempts have been made to redefine cultural ecosystem services as the function of cultural activities in environmental spaces which result in people’s enjoyment of cultural ecosystem benefits. The operability of such a redefinition needs to be evaluated, which this study seeks to achieve with Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park in Singapore presenting itself as a prime case study research area. Transdisciplinary mixed methods of a public participation geographic information system, which leverages on spatial data from public park users, and social media text mining analysis via Google reviews were used. A wealth of cultural ecosystem services and benefits were reported in the park, especially the recreational and aesthetic services and experiential benefits. Policy and methodological implications for future research and urban park developments were considered. Overall, this paper would recommend the employment of the redefined cultural ecosystem services approach to generate relational, data-driven and actionable insights to better support future urban green space management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Urban Biodiversity and Design)
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Article
Structure and Characteristics of Plant-Frugivore Network in an Urban Park: A Case Study in Nanjing Botanical Garden Mem. Sun Yat-Sen
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020071 - 21 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1647
Abstract
Interaction between animals and plants is an important way to maintain terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystem function, but little is known about the structure of reciprocal networks between fruit plants and frugivore birds in urban habitats. To explore the characteristics of the plant–frugivore network [...] Read more.
Interaction between animals and plants is an important way to maintain terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystem function, but little is known about the structure of reciprocal networks between fruit plants and frugivore birds in urban habitats. To explore the characteristics of the plant–frugivore network and network roles of species, we observed the fruit ripening phenology of 21 species of fruit plants and the interactions between these plants and 39 species of frugivore birds during the whole year in a large urban park. Then, we assessed the characteristics of the total plant–frugivore and seasonal networks, and analyzed the network roles of species and the relationship between their network roles and ecological traits. Fruit ripened mainly in autumn and winter, and interaction connections in the two seasons contributed 39.68% and 44.83% to the total network, respectively. The specialization (H2′), connectance (C), nestedness, and interaction evenness (eH2) of the network were lower in autumn and winter, while the interaction diversity was higher. Compared with the networks (N = 1000) generated by the null model, the observed network exhibited higher nestedness and interaction diversity (E2) and lower specialization (H2′), connectance (C), and interaction evenness (eH2). A correlation analysis combining ecological traits and network roles showed that plants with black fruit had higher effective partners and partner diversity, while other traits of plants and birds were not significantly correlated with their network parameters. The important plants (N = 6) and birds (N = 3) contributed to 71.78% and 67.55% of the total network connection, they were mainly evergreen plants with black and red drupes and omnivorous generalist birds with medium and large sizes. Our research highlighted the seasonal differences in urban plant–frugivore network and the value of important species in maintaining network structures and providing ecosystem services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Urban Biodiversity and Design)
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Article
Valuing the Benefits and Enhancing Access: Community and Allotment Gardens in Urban Melbourne, Australia
Land 2022, 11(1), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010062 - 02 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1335
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore perceptions of the benefits and challenges experienced by community and allotment gardens utilising a broad theoretical analysis, pertaining to the case study of Melbourne, a city in Australia that until recently has been experiencing significant [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to explore perceptions of the benefits and challenges experienced by community and allotment gardens utilising a broad theoretical analysis, pertaining to the case study of Melbourne, a city in Australia that until recently has been experiencing significant population growth and urban densification. The study involved qualitative, semi-structured interviews with 23 participants from six urban community and allotment gardens. Interviews identified the perceived benefits of community and allotment gardening, perceived demographic patterns of engagement, challenges faced in relation to secure land access, and the potential offered by community and allotment gardens for social and environmental wellbeing. Findings revealed a range of perceived benefits, perceived demographic patterns, highlighted challenges posed to participation due to insecurity around ongoing land access, and detailed the perceived capacity community and allotment gardens have to contribute to social and environmental wellbeing. This study contributes to existing literature focused on the benefits and potential of community and allotment gardening for personal, social and environmental wellbeing, by offering an original theoretical contribution through carrying out an analysis informed by urban geography, phenomenology, political economy and ecology, and to literature focused on issues of access to land for these amenities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Urban Biodiversity and Design)
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