A global analysis of the impacts of urbanization on bird and plant diversity reveals key anthropogenic drivers

Aronson M.F.J.; La Sorte F.A.; Nilon C.H.; Katti M.; Goddard M.A.; Lepczyk C.A.; Warren P.S.; Williams N.S.G.; Cilliers, S.; Clarkson B.; Dobbs C.; Dolan R.; Hedblom M.; Klotz S.; Kooijmans J.L.; et. al.

Abstract

Urbanization contributes to the loss of the world's biodiversity and the homogenization of its biota. However, comparative studies of urban biodiversity leading to robust generalities of the status and drivers of biodiversity in cities at the global scale are lacking. Here, we compiled the largest global dataset to date of two diverse taxa in cities: birds (54 cities) and plants (110 cities). We found that the majority of urban bird and plant species are native in the world's cities. Few plants and birds are cosmopolitan, the most common being Columba livia and Poa annua. The density of bird and plant species (the number of species per km2) has declined substantially: only 8% of native bird and 25% of native plant species are currently present compared with estimates of non-urban density of species. The current density of species in cities and the loss in density of species was best explained by anthropogenic features (landcover, city age) rather than by non-anthropogenic factors (geography, climate, topography). As urbanization continues to expand, efforts directed towards the conservation of intact vegetation within urban landscapes could support higher concentrations of both bird and plant species. Despite declines in the density of species, cities still retain endemic native species, thus providing opportunities for regional and global biodiversity conservation, restoration and education. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

Más información

Título según SCOPUS: A global analysis of the impacts of urbanization on bird and plant diversity reveals key anthropogenic drivers.
Título de la Revista: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volumen: 281
Número: 1780
Editorial: The Royal Society
Fecha de publicación: 2014
Página de inicio: 20133330
Idioma: English
DOI:

10.1098/rspb.2013.3330

Notas: SCOPUS