Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 361–376

Vascular plants along an urban-rural gradient in the city of Tampere, Finland



The aim of this study was to analyse the spatial distribution of vascular plants along a 21-kilometre rural–urban–rural transect in the city of Tampere, Finland. The study emphasised the distribution of native and non-native species, both in absolute numbers and proportionally. The observed differences are explained by the share of forest land, the number of detached houses, distance from the city centre, and human population. Non-natives showed the highest values in suburban areas. Still, the difference in number of non-natives between suburban and central areas was quite small. In the city of Tampere, there are not continuous large areas devoid of vegetation. The number of native species remained high until the urban core and natives dominated in the rural-type areas of the city. However, there was not a great difference in the number of native species between rural and suburban areas. In the suburban areas, the detached houses and block-of-flats have little effect on the general vegetation. Proportionally, the share of natives decreases in line with the urban traits of the city. Urbanisation therefore affects native species in Finland. Overall, the characteristic features of a Finnish city, such as dispersed urban structure, small population, late urbanisation, abundant natural vegetation (forest) and the qualities of Finnish forests, guarantee the continuing diversity of urban vascular plants.


Urban gradient Native and non-native species Urban biodiversity Urban planning 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.TampereFinland
  3. 3.School of ManagementUniversity of TampereTampereFinland

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