Ecological Research

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 883–887 | Cite as

How to measure the urban-wildland ecotone: redefining ‘peri-urban’ areas

  • Ian MacGregor-ForsEmail author
Note and Comment


The array of definitions regarding ‘peri-urban’ areas do not allow the precise measurement of its boundaries in a city. In this study, I developed an easy-to-use method to calculate the area where urban and adjacent non-urban systems intermingle. To validate that such areas were ecologically meaningful, I compared bird community species-richness, abundance, and composition from ‘intra-’ and ‘peri-urban’ areas in a medium-sized neotropical city. Results show that ‘peri-urban’ areas represent an important ecological interaction area for birds, and differ greatly from ‘intra-urban’ areas. The proposed method is robust and useful for a great variety of amoeboid-growing cities.


Bird communities Urban ecology Urban-wildland ecotone Intra-urban Peri-urban Urban fringe Neotropics 



I am grateful to Erick de la Barrera, Roberto Lindig-Cisneros, Jorge E. Schondube, and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. I also thank the many people who discussed with me ideas presented in this paper, especially Alicia Sevilla, Javier Quesada, Rubén Ortega-Álvarez, Héctor Perdomo, Lorena Morales-Pérez, Carlos Chávez-Zichinelli, and Whaleeha A. Gudiño.


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Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratorio de Ecología Funcional, Centro de Investigaciones en EcosistemasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Campus MoreliaMoreliaMexico

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