Scientific Literature

Correcting common misconceptions to inspire conservation action in urban environments
Kylie Soanes et al., 2018 Conservation Biology Volume 33, No. 2, 300–306 “Despite repeated calls to action, proposals for urban conservation are often met with surprise or scepticism. There remains a pervasive narrative in policy, practice, and the public psyche that urban environments, although useful for engaging people with nature or providing ecosystem services, are of little conservation value. We argue that the tendency to overlook the conservation value of urban environments stems from misconceptions about the ability of native species to persist within cities and towns and that this, in turn, hinders effective conservation action. However, recent scientific evidence shows that these assumptions do not always hold. Although it is generally true that increasing the size, quality, and connectivity of habitat patches will improve the probability that a species can persist, the inverse is not that small, degraded, or fragmented habitats found in urban environments are worthless. In light of these findings we propose updated messages that guide and inspire researchers, practitioners, and decision makers to undertake conservation action in urban environments: consider small spaces, recognize unconventional habitats, test creative solutions, and use science to minimize the impacts of future urban development.”

nature.com > subjects > urban ecology
The page lists papers in Nature, a prestigious scientific journal, that fall under the category of urban ecology which it defines as “all aspects of the ecology of any organisms found in urban areas as well as large scale considerations of the ecological sustainability of cities.”

Landscapes that work for biodiversity and people
C. Kremen*, A. M. Merenlender, Science 19 Oct 2018: Vol. 362, Issue 6412. “As the human population has grown, we have taken and modified more and more land, leaving less and less for nonhuman species. This is clearly unsustainable, and the amount of land we protect for nature needs to be increased and preserved. However, this still leaves vast regions of the world unprotected and modified. Such landscapes do not have to be a lost cause. Kremen and Merenlender review how biodiversity-based techniques can be used to manage most human-modified lands as “working landscapes.” These can provide for human needs and maintain biodiversity not just for ecosystem services but also for maintenance and persistence of nonhuman species.”

The Lichens of Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Anwar Tumur, David H.S. Richardson Northeastern Naturalist 26(1), (31 January 2019). https://doi.org/10.1656/045.026.0108
The peninsula on which the city of Halifax is located ends in a park that has remained mostly wooded since 1749, despite being periodically disturbed and partially cleared by military activities and storms. This first detailed study of the lichens of Point Pleasant Park is based on collections from almost 300 survey sites, which showed a remarkably diverse flora of 164 species, varying from pollution-tolerant lichens such as Lecanora conizaeoides at the northern end of the park, to members of the Lobarion community at the southern end. In 2003, Hurricane Juan felled a large number of the larger, older trees, which explains the current high proportion of crustose species established on the smaller, younger, trees. The baseline data reported in this study will be of value to follow the succession of lichens on trees as the bark surfaces change from smooth to ridged, with age, over the next few decades. The rich lichen flora of the park also reflects the fact that there are rock outcrops and vertical rock faces. These substrates support a lichen flora of 43 species, and the terricolous habitats are colonized by a further 23 species, including 18 species of Cladonia.