By Mark J. McDonnell, Amy K. Hahs, Jürgen H. Breuste

The unheard of development of towns and cities worldwide, coupled with the unknown results of world swap, has created an pressing have to elevate ecological knowing of human settlements, as a way to enhance inhabitable, sustainable towns and cities sooner or later. even though there's a wealth of data in regards to the figuring out of human organization and behavior, there's comparably little info to be had concerning the ecology of towns and cities. This ebook brings jointly best scientists, panorama designers and planners from built and constructing international locations around the globe, to discover how city ecological learn has been undertaken up to now, what has been learnt, the place there are gaps in wisdom, and what the long run demanding situations and possibilities are.

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Additional info for Ecology of Cities and Towns: A Comparative Approach

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Numerical definitions of urban do exist (based, for example, on population density), but a general definition is more practical for research purposes. A useful way to Comparative urban ecology define ‘urban’ is to consider gradients of land use. According to Forman and Godron (1986), the intensity of human influence divides landscapes into five broad types spanning the continuum from pristine natural environments to urban centres highly modified by people. At the pristine end of the gradient, natural landscapes support mostly unmanaged native biota, while the managed landscape consists of planted and/or managed native or non-native species.

Nonetheless, little is known about whether these changes affect biodiversity in similar ways across the globe, or depend more on local conditions (Samways, 1992). Thus, there is a need for comparative, international research to assess the effects of these activities on native biodiversity, and, where possible, to minimise adverse effects (Dennis and Ruggiero, 1996; Andersen, 1999). Such research could potentially distinguish globally recurring patterns and convergence from more local phenomena.

In the middle of the gradient, cultivated landscapes consist of a matrix of agricultural lands that can be either crops or grazing land. The suburban landscapes include low- to moderate-density housing, yards and roads. The urban end of the gradient represents landscapes of the most intense human influence dominated by high-density residential and commercial buildings, roads and other paved surfaces. Despite obvious differences, all these land-use types may include patches of other types (Forman and Godron, 1986).

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