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

Aronson, Myla F. J., La Sorte, Frank A., Nilon, Charles H., Katti, Madhusudan, Goddard, Mark A., Lepczyk, Christopher A., Warren, Paige S., Williams, Nicholas S. G., Cilliers, Sarel, Clarkson, Bruce, Dobbs, Cynnamon, Dolan, Rebecca, Hedblom, Marcus, Klotz, Stefan, Kooijmans, Jip Louwe, Kuhn, Ingolf, Macgregor-Fors, Ian, Mcdonnell, Mark, Mortberg, Ulla, Pysek, Petr, Siebert, Stefan, Sushinsky, Jessica, Werner, Peter and Winter, Marten (2014) A global analysis of the impacts of urbanization on bird and plant diversity reveals key anthropogenic drivers. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281 1780: . doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.3330

Author Aronson, Myla F. J.
La Sorte, Frank A.
Nilon, Charles H.
Katti, Madhusudan
Goddard, Mark A.
Lepczyk, Christopher A.
Warren, Paige S.
Williams, Nicholas S. G.
Cilliers, Sarel
Clarkson, Bruce
Dobbs, Cynnamon
Dolan, Rebecca
Hedblom, Marcus
Klotz, Stefan
Kooijmans, Jip Louwe
Kuhn, Ingolf
Macgregor-Fors, Ian
Mcdonnell, Mark
Mortberg, Ulla
Pysek, Petr
Siebert, Stefan
Sushinsky, Jessica
Werner, Peter
Winter, Marten
Title A global analysis of the impacts of urbanization on bird and plant diversity reveals key anthropogenic drivers
Journal name Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-8452
Publication date 2014-04-07
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rspb.2013.3330
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 281
Issue 1780
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Language eng
Formatted 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.
Keyword Anthropogenic activities
Global biodiversity
Native species
Density of species
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article no.: 20133330

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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