Urban areas as a refuge for insect pollinators: conservation for the city

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Urban conservation ecology is a fast growing field that has mainly focused on how towns and cities can support populations of plants, animals and fungi that may be declining or threatened in the surrounding rural environment.  That is, the city for wildlife conservation.  In a new essay in the journal Conservation Biology, written with colleagues from across the world, we argue that conservation for the city (an idea originally conceived, I believe, by Steward Pickett) should also be a focus of future research and management activities.

Conservation, or ecology, for the city in essence means that plants, animals and fungi, as well as being supported by the city (see our recent urban bees example), play a role in supporting the city itself through the provision of ecosystem services such as decomposition, flood alleviation, and crop pollination.

It’s pollinators and pollination that we particualrly focus on in this essay – here’s the abstract:

Urban ecology research is changing how we view the biological value and ecological importance of cities. Lagging behind this revised image of the city are natural resource management agencies’ urban conservation programs that historically have invested in education and outreach rather than programs designed to achieve high-priority species conservation results. This essay synthesizes research on urban bee species diversity and abundance to suggest how urban conservation can be repositioned to better align with a newly unfolding image of urban landscapes. We argue that pollinators put high-priority and high-impact urban conservation within reach. In a rapidly urbanizing world, transforming how environmental managers view the city can improve citizen engagement while exploring more sustainable practices of urbanization.

I’m happy to send the PDF to anyone who wants a copy; here’s the full citation:

 

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20 Comments

Filed under Bees, Biodiversity, Ecosystem services, Gardens, Pollination, Urban biodiversity

20 responses to “Urban areas as a refuge for insect pollinators: conservation for the city

  1. I would also like a pdf please, thanks Philip
    p.g.strange@rdg.ac.uk

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jay53

    It really is about time that those who run our cities began to do this sort of thing. My city has built a reputation for being an ‘environment city’ and has a few conservation projects and puts wildflower strips here and there, but it still built an enormous housing estate on a system of old brick pits which housed large numbers of amphibians and other water-based wildlife, including the Great Crested Newt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gerardo R. Camilo

    It was indeed Stewart Pickett who coined the idea of “ecology for the city”. His argument is that ecology for the city emerges as a natural progression of our understanding. He states that the first stage is that of “ecology in the city”, where patterns and processes are measured and compared to natural systems. The second stage is identify those patterns and processes that are unique or idiosyncratic of cities. The final stage is that of “ecology for the city”, in which we apply what we have learned from the previous stages. Here is a link to his essay:
    http://www.urban-sustainability-rcn.org/uploads/1/6/2/1/16216490/pickett_ecology_of_the_city_chapter.pdf

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Urban areas as a refuge for insect pollinators: conservation for the city | Jeff Ollerton’s Biodiversity Blog – WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

  5. I would love a copy of the paper please. I’m a PhD student and Forrest Scholar, about to embark on a study at Curtin University, WA, looking at native bee assemblages in urban habitat patches in the southwest Australian biodiversity hotspot!
    Email: kitprendergast21@gmail.com

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jaqjobes

    Hi Jeff, Thanks for sharing this. Is it possible to get a copy of the paper please? Jackie

    On Friday, September 23, 2016, Jeff Ollerton’s Biodiversity Blog wrote:

    > jeffollerton posted: ” Urban conservation ecology is a fast growing field > that has mainly focused on how towns and cities can support populations of > plants, animals and fungi that may be declining or threatened in the > surrounding rural environment. That is, the city for wil” >

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, this sounds so interesting, I’m really interested in including urban ecology in my dissertation for my masters. Could you send me a copy to thatbiologist@gmail.com
    Many thanks
    Laura

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Simone van der Sijs

    Dear sir,

    I would love to read and learn more about this subject. Could you please send me a pdf of the “Urban as a refuge”-article please?

    Simone

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hey guys if you like blogs about ecology check out this new page!
    https://unilifesciences.wordpress.com/

    Like

  10. Hi Jeff, as time permits, I’d be grateful for a copy of the manuscript as well. Thanks in advance!

    Like

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