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Roadside and riverside green – urban corridors in the city of Vantaa, Finland

Ranta, P., Kesulahti, J., Tanskanen, A., Viljanen, V., Virtanen, T.
Urban ecosystems 2015 v.18 no.2 pp. 341-354
ecosystems, flora, niches, rivers, species diversity, traffic, urban areas, Finland
The spatial distribution of biodiversity has specific patterns in urban environments. The aim of this study was to compare the ecological profiles of plants in man-made traffic corridors and natural river corridors in the city of Vantaa. The number of corridor species represented 76.3 % of Vantaa’s total flora, even though corridors covered only 2.7 % of the city area. Corridor plants are mostly generalist species with wide ecological niches, and have ruderal and competitor life-strategies, while plants without occurrences in corridors are habitat specialists and species with narrow ecological niches. The conservation value of non-corridor habitats arises from the rarity of species, and the representation of the original boreal nature, while corridors contribute to the total diversity of species. The potential of corridors in urban conservation has not been fully appreciated.