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    Author(s): Steward T.A. Pickett; Mary L. Cadenasso; J. Morgan Grove; Peter M. Groffman; Lawrence E. Band; Christopher G. Boone; William R., Jr. Burch; Susan B. Grimmond; John Hom; Jennifer C. Jenkins; Neely L. Law; Charles H. Nilon; Richard V. Pouyat; Katalin Szlavecz; Paige S. Warren; Matthew A. Wilson
    Date: 2008
    Source: BioScience. 58(2): 139-150.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (714.77 KB)

    Description

    The emerging discipline of urban ecology is shifting focus from ecological processes embedded within cities to integrative studies of large urban areas as biophysical-social complexes. Yet this discipline lacks a theory. Results from the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, part of the Long Term Ecological Research Network, expose new assumptions and test existing assumptions about urban ecosystems. The findings suggest a broader range of structural and functional relationships than is often assumed for urban ecological systems. We address the relationships between social status and awareness of environmental problems, and between race and environmental hazard. We present patterns of species diversity, riparian function, and stream nitrate loading. In addition, we probe the suitability of land-use models, the diversity of soils, and the potential for urban carbon sequestration. Finally, we illustrate lags between social patterns and vegetation, the biogeochemistry of lawns, ecosystem nutrient retention, and social-biophysical feedbacks. These results suggest a framework for a theory of urban ecosystems.

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    Citation

    Pickett, Steward T.A.; Cadenasso, Mary L.; Grove, J. Morgan; Groffman, Peter M.; Band, Lawrence E.; Boone, Christopher G.; Burch, William R., Jr.; Grimmond, Susan B.; Hom, John; Jenkins, Jennifer C.; Law, Neely L.; Nilon, Charles H.; Pouyat, Richard V.; Szlavecz, Katalin; Warren, Paige S.; Wilson, Matthew A. 2008. Beyond urban legends: an emerging framework of urban ecology, as illustrated by the Baltimore Ecosystem Study. BioScience. 58(2): 139-150.

    Keywords

    city, coupled natural-human system, patch dynamics, social-ecological system, urban ecosystem

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