Advertisement

Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 2415–2438 | Cite as

Urban domestic gardens (VI): environmental correlates of invertebrate species richness

  • Richard M. SmithEmail author
  • Philip H. Warren
  • Ken Thompson
  • Kevin J. Gaston
Article

Abstract

Domestic gardens associated with residential zones form a major component of undeveloped land in towns and cities. Such gardens may play a vital role in maintaining biodiversity in urban areas, but explanations for the variation in the richness of species assemblages in gardens are lacking. We report the results from a case study of 12 invertebrate groups in 61 domestic gardens in the city of Sheffield, UK. The mean number of species within a taxon, recorded per garden, was no greater than 3, 10, and 20 species in litter, pitfall trap and Malaise trap samples, respectively. Relatively speciose groups exhibited high turnover between gardens, with typically 50% of the group occurring only once. In contrast, several species-poor taxa were virtually ubiquitous. Species richness was analysed by multiple regression and hierarchical tree analysis in relation to garden and landscape variables. In general, the two methods of analysis corroborated one another. In total, 22 explanatory variables entered into regression models, although 12 of them only did so once. The amount of variation in species richness explained in models was generally quite high, with the factors involved operating over a range of scales. However, the patterns that emerged were not consistent across taxa. The most important predictors of species richness, of relevance to land use planners, were components of garden vegetation, especially the abundance of trees. Likely reasons for inconsistencies in the relationships are discussed in the context of sampling and species biology.

Keywords

Backyard Biodiversity Green space Home garden Scale tree analysis Urbanisation 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Allen, A.A. 1964The Coleoptera of a suburban gardenEntomol. Rec. J. Variation762614Google Scholar
  2. Bailey, S.E.R., North, M.C., Cook, L.M. 1998Slugs and snails and thrushes’ anvils: children's surveys of slugs and snailsJ. Conchol. Special Publication2171178Google Scholar
  3. Blair, R.B. 1996Land use and avian species diversity along an urban gradientEcol. Appl.6506519Google Scholar
  4. Blair, R.B., Launer, A.E. 1997Butterfly assemblages and human land use: species assemblages along an urban gradientBiol. Conserv.80113125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cannon, A. 2000Garden BirdWatch Handbook2British Trust for OrnithologyThetfordGoogle Scholar
  6. Cooper, D.S. 2002Geographic associations of breeding bird distribution in an urban open spaceBiol. Conserv.104205210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crawley, M.J. 2002Statistical Computing: An Introduction to Data Analysis using S-PlusJohn Wiley and sonsChichester, UKGoogle Scholar
  8. Davis, B.N.K. 1978Urbanisation and the diversity of insectsMound, L.A.Waloff, N. eds. Diversity of Insect FaunasBlackwell ScientificOxford126138Google Scholar
  9. Denys, C., Schmidt, H. 1998Insect communities on experimental mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris L.) plots along an urban gradientOecologia113269277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eversham, B.C., Roy, D.B., Telfer, M.G. 1996Urban, industrial and other manmade sites as analogues of natural habitats for CarabidaeAnn. Zool. Fenn.33149156Google Scholar
  11. Fernández-Juricic, E. 2000Avifaunal use of wooded streets in an urban landscapeConserv. Biol.14513521CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. K.J. Gaston, R.M. Smith, K. Thompson, P.H. Warren Urban domestic gardens (II): experimental tests of methods for increasing biodiversity Biodivers. Conserv.Google Scholar
  13. K.J. Gaston, P.H. Warren, K. Thompson, R.M. Smith, Urban domestic gardens (IV): the extent of the resource and its associated features Biodivers. Conserv. in press.Google Scholar
  14. Germaine, S.S., Wakeling, B.F. 2001Lizard species distributions and habitat occupation along an urban gradient in Tucson, Arizona, USABiol. Conserv.97229237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gilbert, O.L. 1990The lichen flora of urban wastelandLichenologist2287101Google Scholar
  16. Hardy, P.B., Dennis, R.L.H. 1999The impact of urban development on butterflies within a city regionBiodivers. Conserv.812611279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Honnay, O., Endels, P., Vereecken, H., Hermy, M. 1999The role of patch area and habitat diversity in explaining native plant species richness in disturbed forest patches in northern BelgiumDivers. Distrib.5129141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jokimäki, J. 1999Occurrence of breeding bird species in urban parks: effects of park structure and broad-scale variablesUrban Ecosyst.32134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kinzig, A.P., Grove, J.M. 2001Urban–suburban ecologyLevin, S.A. eds. Encyclopaedia of Biodiversity, Vol. 5Academic PressSan Diego733745Google Scholar
  20. Martin D. and Tate N. 1997. Surpop V2.0: Introduction. http://census.ac.uk/cdu/surpop.htm.Google Scholar
  21. McGeoch, M.A., Chown, S.L. 1997Impact of urbanization on a gall-inhabiting Lepidoptera assemblage: the importance of reserves in urban areasBiodivers. Conserv.6979993CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Miotk, P. 1996The naturalized garden- a refuge for animals? – first resultsZool. Anz.235101116Google Scholar
  23. Miyashita, T., Shinkai, A., Chida, T. 1998The effects of forest fragmentation on web spider communities in urban areasBiol. Conserv.86357364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Moran, M.D. 2003Arguments for rejecting the sequential Bonferroni in ecological studiesOikos100403405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ødegaard, F., Tømmerås, B.Å. 2000Compost heaps – refuges and stepping-stones for alien arthropod species in northern EuropeDivers. Distrib.64559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Owen, J. 1991The Ecology of a Garden: the first fifteen yearsCambridge University PressCambridgeGoogle Scholar
  27. Owen, J. 2002My Romney Marsh gardenAtropos175357Google Scholar
  28. Pyšek, P. 1993Factors affecting the diversity of flora and vegetation in central European settlementsVegetatio10689100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Roy, D.B., Hill, M.O., Rothery, P. 1999Effects of urban land cover on the local species pool in BritainEcography22507515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Saville, B. 1997The Secret Garden: Report of the Lothian Secret Garden SurveyLothian Wildlife Information CentreEdinburghGoogle Scholar
  31. Smith, C. 1989Butterflies and moths in suburbiaNature Cambridgeshire311927Google Scholar
  32. R.M. Smith, K.L. Gaston, P.H. Warren, K. Thompson, Urban domestic gardens (V): relationships between landcover composition, housing and landscape, Landscape Ecology.Google Scholar
  33. Soulé, M.E., Bolger, D.T., Alberts, A.C., Wright, J., Sorice, M., Hill, S. 1988Reconstructed dynamics of rapid extinctions of chaparral-requiring birds in urban habitat islandsConserv. Biol.27592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Stace, C. 1997New Flora of the British IslesCambridge University PressCambridge2nd ed.Google Scholar
  35. Sukopp, H., Starfinger, U. 1999Disturbance in urban ecosystemsWalker, L.R. eds. Ecosystems of the World 16. Ecosystems of Disturbed GroundElsevier ScienceAmsterdam397412Google Scholar
  36. Thompson, K., Austin, K.C., Smith, R.M., Warren, P.H., Angold, P.G., Gaston, K.J. 2003Urban domestic gardens (I): putting small-scale plant diversity in contextJ. Veg. Sci.147178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Thompson, K., Hodgson, J.G., Smith, R.M., Warren, P.H., Gaston, K.J. 2004Urban domestic gardens (III): composition and diversity of lawn florasJ. Veg. Sci.15371376Google Scholar
  38. Vickery, M.L. 1995Gardens: the neglected habitatPullin, A.S. eds. Ecology and conservation of butterfliesChapman and HallLondon123134Google Scholar
  39. Wright, M. 1984The Complete Handbook of Garden PlantsMichael JosephLondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard M. Smith
    • 1
    Email author
  • Philip H. Warren
    • 1
  • Ken Thompson
    • 1
  • Kevin J. Gaston
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal and Plant SciencesUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations