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Assessment of woodland plant diversity along a rural-urban gradient, implications for urban green infrastructure management and planning.

Abstract : The increase of urbanization during the last decades (and the related losses of biodiversity) has resulted in a need to consider biodiversity conservation in urban areas. The aim of this paper is to better understand the relations between plant biodiversity, management intensity and landscape planning by comparing several results obtained in cities of western France. First, we compare three urban greenspaces presenting a large management intensity gradient. These observations show that large urban parks with low management intensity can constitute a local "hotspot of biodiversity", even if it is not their management target. The second part focuses on isolated woodlands and aim to assess the response plant species richness to urbanization. A global pattern of increase in species richness is observed along the rural-urban gradient, but contrasted responses occur according to the origin (native or not) of species. Urban woodlands are richer in exotic species but native and forest species are dominant in all woodlands. Spatiotemporal distribution of areas with trees along an urban-rural gradient (so not only woodland, but all tree cover that can be seen by aerial photograph) is analyzed in the third part. Two dates (1958 and 2001) are compared. The total surface area and total number of tree patches did not change between 1958 and 2001. However, the three classes (woodlands, hedges and treelines & isolated trees) of area evolved differently. The areas of semi-natural tree cover (sum of woodlands and hedges) appear quite similar for rural and recently urbanized district (about 8%), in opposition to more ancient urban district where they are almost absent. Thus, such spatio-temporal urban-rural gradient allow considering changes in landscape planning practices. This work contributes to a better understanding of the response of plant species to urbanization and could improve the integration of woodlands in urban planning and management.
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Contributor : Céline Martel Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, September 7, 2012 - 4:04:05 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 6, 2022 - 4:08:19 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-00729959, version 1


Hervé Daniel, J. Vallet, Véronique Beaujouan. Assessment of woodland plant diversity along a rural-urban gradient, implications for urban green infrastructure management and planning.. Sino-French CAS-CNRS Workshop, Oct 2009, Xiamen (CH), Switzerland. pp.57-65. ⟨hal-00729959⟩



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