Ecological Homogenization

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Figure 1. Residential Images. Ecological Homogenization of Urban America: testing the hypothesis that human impact in and around cities causes homogenization of the biota, altering functional and phylogenetic diversity patterns.

Neighborhoods across biophysically different regions have similar patterns of development leading to ecological homogenization of basic neighborhood structure and residential yards more ecologically similar to yards across the nation than to their respective nearby natural areas. Fewer lineages of plants occur spontaneously in urban environments than in natural areas, and urban plants are shorter lived, faster growing and promote fewer pollinators than their country counterparts. About half of the plants urbanites cultivate are exotics, driving homogenization of our regional and continental flora. The Ecological Homogenization of Urban North America study, involving six sites across the nation, focuses on the ecology and evolution of urbanizing ecosystems to reveal generalities in the ecosystem impacts of residential development.

 

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© Copyright 2015 LTER. MSC03 2020, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA 87131.