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Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 633–647 | Cite as

Multi-taxonomic diversity patterns in a neotropical green city: a rapid biological assessment

  • Ian MacGregor-Fors
  • Sergio Avendaño-Reyes
  • Víctor M. Bandala
  • Santiago Chacón-Zapata
  • Milton H. Díaz-Toribio
  • Fernando González-García
  • Francisco Lorea-Hernández
  • Juan Martínez-Gómez
  • Enrique Montes de Oca
  • Leticia Montoya
  • Eduardo Pineda
  • Lorena Ramírez-Restrepo
  • Eduardo Rivera-García
  • Elsa Utrera-Barrillas
  • Federico EscobarEmail author
Article

Abstract

The growing number of urban ecology studies has raised concern about the importance of comprehending the ecological patterns and processes of urban areas in order to manage and plan them properly. In this study, we performed a rapid descriptive ecological assessment of the biodiversity patterns in a neotropical mid-sized urban area from a multi-taxonomic approach, contrasting seven taxonomic groups (i.e., vascular plants, fungi, ants, butterflies, beetles, amphibians, birds) in areas with different degree of urbanization intensity. Results of this study show that diversity patterns differ depending on the taxonomic group; thus, it was not possible to generalize specific trends in species richness, abundance, and species composition because each taxon seems to respond differently to the process or level of urbanization. Our results also highlight the relevance of using multi-taxonomic approaches to understand the relationship between biodiversity and urban environments, and underline potential benefits and limitations of using each of the studied groups when considering rapid biodiversity assessments. Based on our results, we suggest the following recommendations when performing rapid biological assessments in urban areas: evaluate as many taxa as possible, choosing the set of taxonomic groups in relation to the objectives of the study, wide the temporal and spatial survey window as much as possible, focus on several biodiversity measures, and interpreting results cautiously, as rapid assessments do not necessarily reflect ecological patterns, but just part of the history.

Keywords

Urban ecology Mexico Plants Fungi Ants Butterflies Beetles Amphibians Birds 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Richard Lemoine, Emmanuel Arriaga, Martha L. Baena, José Luis Sánchez Huerta, Ángeles Arenas-Cruz, Juan Carlos Corona, David Ramos, Fidel Tapia Padilla, Luis Ángel Espinoza and Miguel A. Domínguez López for their help with field work, specimen identification, and site selection. We also thank the local authorities (Ayuntamiento de Xalapa) for authorizing our survey within the city of Xalapa (Oficio CMA/896/2012). This study was funded by the Dirección General del Instituto de Ecología, A. C. through the “Proyectos de Investigación de Alto Valor Estratégico para la Sociedad” (project: “Patrones ecológicos y percepción social de la diversidad biológica que habita en la ciudad de Xalapa: Un enfoque multidisciplinario”).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian MacGregor-Fors
    • 1
  • Sergio Avendaño-Reyes
    • 1
  • Víctor M. Bandala
    • 1
  • Santiago Chacón-Zapata
    • 1
  • Milton H. Díaz-Toribio
    • 1
  • Fernando González-García
    • 1
  • Francisco Lorea-Hernández
    • 1
  • Juan Martínez-Gómez
    • 1
  • Enrique Montes de Oca
    • 1
  • Leticia Montoya
    • 1
  • Eduardo Pineda
    • 1
  • Lorena Ramírez-Restrepo
    • 1
  • Eduardo Rivera-García
    • 1
  • Elsa Utrera-Barrillas
    • 1
  • Federico Escobar
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Instituto de Ecología, A. CXalapaMexico

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