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City “Green” Contributions: The Role of Urban Greenspaces as Reservoirs for Biodiversity

MacGregor-Fors, Ian, Escobar, Federico, Rueda-Hernández, Rafael, Avendaño-Reyes, Sergio, Baena, Martha Lucía, Bandala, Víctor M., Chacón-Zapata, Santiago, Guillén-Servent, Antonio, González-García, Fernando, Lorea-Hernández, Francisco, Montes de Oca, Enrique, Montoya, Leticia, Pineda, Eduardo, Ramírez-Restrepo, Lorena, Rivera-García, Eduardo, Utrera-Barrillas, Elsa
Forests 2016 v.7 no.7
Chiroptera, Coleoptera, Neotropics, amphibians, birds, fungi, grasshoppers, green infrastructure, home gardens, parks, species richness, urban areas, urban forests, urbanization, wildlife
Urbanization poses important environmental, social, and ecological pressures, representing a major threat to biodiversity. However, urban areas are highly heterogeneous, with some greenspaces (e.g., urban forests, parks, private gardens) providing resources and a refuge for wildlife communities. In this study we surveyed 10 taxonomic groups to assess their species richness and composition in six greenspaces that differ in size, location, management, and human activities. Species richness differed among taxonomic groups, but not all differed statistically among the studied greenspaces (i.e., sac fungi, bats). Plants, basidiomycetous and sac fungi, and birds showed intermediate assemblage composition similarity (<54%). The composition of assemblages of copro-necrophagous beetles, grasshoppers, amphibians, and bats was related to the specific traits of greenspaces, mainly size and location. The species richness contribution of each greenspace considering all studied taxonomic groups was highest in the largest greenspace that is located at the southeastern border of the city, while the lowest contribution was recorded in the smallest ones, all of them closer to the city’s center. Our results shed some light on the way in which different taxonomic groups respond to an array of neotropical urban greenspaces, providing an important basis for future studies.