|Title: ||Assessing the structural heterogeneity of urban areas: an example from the Black Country (UK)|
|Citation: ||Urban Ecosystems, 5(1): 49-69|
|Publisher: ||Springer Netherlands|
|Journal: ||Urban Ecosystems|
|Issue Date: ||2001 |
|Additional Links: ||http://www.springerlink.com/content/h858471m36n63418/|
|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)|
|Keywords: ||Landscape ecology|
|Appears in Collections: ||Plant and Environmental Research Group|
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