, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 127-133

Urban biogeography

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Species richness and abundance of Diptera and Coleoptera were assessed in nine city parks in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Species richness for each park was related to the area of the park in a manner predicted by island biogeography theory. The z values for the Diptera and Coleoptera were 0.235 and 0.222 respectively. These values are somewhat higher than expected for continental islands and suggest that the Diptera and Coleoptera in these parks are as isolated as many species which occur on true oceanic islands.

A stepwise multiple regression was conducted, regressing species richness against several aspects of habitat diversity in the parks. It was found that area alone was the best predictor of species richness. This result, coupled with data on population sizes, suggests that increased area acts primarily to reduce extinction rates rather than to provide new habitats for specialized species.