Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub

    Description

    Questions: Urban ecosystems present an opportunity to study ecological communities in the context of unprecedented environmental change. In the face of urban land conversion, ecologists observe new patterns of species composition, dominance, behaviour and dispersal.We propose a hypothetical socioeconomic template that describes a gradient in human investment in community composition to aid in organizing the human role in shaping urban biodiversity. We asked: (1) what is the relative magnitude of taxonomic and functional turnover of urban woody plant communities across different land-use types; and (2) do land uses exhibiting higher intensity of humanmanagement of biodiversity support higher turnover over those with less human influence? Location: Baltimore, MD, USA (39°17′ N, 76°38′ W). Methods: We examined patterns in woody plant biodiversity across 209 plots of different urban land uses. Six land-use types were arranged along a gradient in the intensity through which humans are hypothesized to manage species composition at the plot scale. We calculated local, or a-diversity, and compositional turnover, or b-diversity, of taxonomic and functional diversity across plots within each land-use type. We compared the magnitude of these biodiversity measures between land uses to test our conceptual template for how the intensity of humanmanagement can predict urban woody plant biodiversity. Results: We observed high taxonomic turnover in residential and commercial plots compared with vacant or open space land-use areas. This was associated with a weaker, but similar, pattern in functional diversity. This was associated with low total abundance in residential and commercial plots. Furthermore, the number of unique species was extremely high in the same land-use types. Conclusions: Our observations help explain why turnover can be high in heavily managed plots relative to vacant land. In patches without heavy human management, we found low levels of turnover. This highlights the importance of assessing diversity both locally and at the level of turnover between patches. Management and policy can benefit from the perspective embodied in the conceptual approach tested here.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Swan, Christopher M.; Johnson, Anna; Nowak, David J.; Acosta, Alicia. 2016. Differential organization of taxonomic and functional diversity in an urban woody plant metacommunity. Applied Vegetation Science. 20(1): 7-17. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12266.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

    Functional traits, Metacommunity, Urban ecosystem, Woody plants, a-Diversity, b-Diversity

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/54840