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Is there a relationship between socio-economic factors and biodiversity in urban ponds? A study in the city of Stockholm
- Blicharska, Malgorzata, Andersson, Johan, Bergsten, Johannes, Bjelke, Ulf, Hilding-Rydevik, Tuija, Thomsson, Michaela, Östh, John, Johansson, Frank
- Urban ecosystems 2017 v.20 no.6 pp. 1209-1220
- aquatic insects, biodiversity, buildings, cities, ecological value, ecosystems, educational status, habitats, humans, landscapes, people, ponds, socioeconomic factors, socioeconomic status, surface water, urban areas, urbanization
- Urban small water bodies, such as ponds, are essential elements of human socio-economic landscapes. Ponds also provide important habitats for species that would otherwise not survive in the urban environment. Knowledge on the biodiversity of urban ponds and the relationship between their ecological value and factors linked to urbanization and socio-economic status is crucial for decisions on where and how to establish and manage ponds in cities to deliver maximum biodiversity benefits. Our study investigates if the pattern of urban-pond biodiversity can be related to different socio-economic factors, such as level of wealth, education or percentage of buildings of different types. Because of lack of previous studies investigating that, our study is of exploratory character and many different variables are used. We found that the biodiversity of aquatic insects was significantly negatively associated with urbanisation variables such as amount of buildings and number of residents living around ponds. This relationship did not differ depending on the spatial scale of our investigation. In contrast, we did not find a significant relationship with variables representing socio-economic status, such as education level and wealth of people. This latter result suggests that the socio-economic status of residents does not lead to any particular effect in terms of the management and function of ponds that would affect biodiversity. However, there is a need for a finer-scale investigation of the different potential mechanism in which residents in areas with differing socio-economic status could indirectly influence ponds.