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Wolverhampton Intellectual Repository and E-Theses > School of Applied Sciences > Research Centre in Applied Sciences  > Plant and Environmental Research Group > Assessing the structural heterogeneity of urban areas: an example from the Black Country (UK)

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/29715
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Title: Assessing the structural heterogeneity of urban areas: an example from the Black Country (UK)
Authors: Young, Christopher
Jarvis, Peter
Citation: Urban Ecosystems, 5(1): 49-69
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Journal: Urban Ecosystems
Issue Date: 2001
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/29715
DOI: 10.1023/A:1021877618584
Additional Links: http://www.springerlink.com/content/h858471m36n63418/
http://direct.bl.uk/bld/PlaceOrder.do?UIN=124891164&ETOC=RN&from=searchengine
Abstract: The increasing acknowledgement of the importance of urban habitats in the maintenance of biodiversity has brought with it a need to quantify this importance at a scale appropriate to the characteristic patch sizes encountered in urban areas. Taking a study area in the Black Country (UK) we used a spatially complete, rapid assessment method to evaluate habitat patches in terms of their internal structural heterogeneity. This method recognises the importance of both natural and anthropogenic processes in providing a diverse range of habitats and niches for both flora and fauna. It also recognises the key role of context in determining the ecological significance of each patch within the urban landscape. All habitats studied had a complex mix of both natural and artificial structural elements, where an element is a within-patch contributor to structural diversity, with each habitat type having a large range of element totals. Characteristic totals, reflecting the level of habitat structural diversity, were observed in some habitat types with residential areas having high values and industrial and commercial areas having low values. Certain structural elements were also associated with each habitat type allowing characteristic element assemblages to be derived. If structural diversity is linked with biodiversity, as seems to be the case in many (though not all) habitat types, then this unique method of viewing the urban landscape becomes a powerful tool for informing wildlife ecologists, nature conservationists, urban planners, environmental managers and landscape architects. (Springer Verlag)
Type: Article
Language: en
Keywords: Landscape ecology
Urban habitats
Habitat structure
Structural diversity
Biodiversity
Black Country
West Midlands
Conservation
Environmental management
ISSN: 1083-8155
1573-1642
Appears in Collections: Plant and Environmental Research Group

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