Norton B, Evans KL, Warren PH (2016), Urban biodiversity and landscape ecology: patterns, processes and planning
Current Landscape Ecology Reports, DOI 10.1007/s40823-016-0018-5
Available from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40823-016-0018-5
Effective planning for biodiversity in cities and towns is increasingly important as urban areas and their human populations grow, both to achieve conservation goals and because ecological communities support services on which humans depend. Landscape ecology provides important frameworks for understanding and conserving urban biodiversity both within cities and considering whole cities in their regional context, and has played an important role in the development of a substantial and expanding body of knowledge about urban landscapes and communities. Characteristics of the whole city including size, overall amount of green space, age and regional context are important considerations for understanding and planning for biotic assemblages at the scale of entire cities, but have received relatively little research attention. Studies of biodiversity within cities are more abundant and show that longstanding principles regarding how patch size, configuration and composition influence biodiversity apply to urban areas as they do in other habitats. However, the fine spatial scales at which urban areas are fragmented and the altered temporal dynamics compared to non-urban areas indicate a need to apply hierarchical multi-scalar landscape ecology models to urban environments. Transferring results from landscape-scale urban biodiversity research into planning remains challenging, not least because of the requirements for urban green space to provide multiple functions. An increasing array of tools is available to meet this challenge and increasingly requires ecologists to work with planners to address biodiversity challenges. Biodiversity conservation and enhancement is just one strand in urban planning, but is increasingly important in a rapidly urbanising world.