Understanding biodiversity-ecosystem service relationships in urban areas: A comprehensive literature review

Nina Schwarz, Marco Moretti, Miguel N. Bugalho, Zoe G. Davies, Dagmar Haase, Jochen Hack, Angela Hof, Yolanda Melero, Tristan J. Pett, Sonja Knapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Positive relationships between biodiversity and urban ecosystem services (UES) are widely implied within both the scientific and policy literatures, along with the tacit suggestion that enhancing urban green infrastructure will automatically improve both biodiversity and UES. However, it is unclear how much published empirical evidence exists to support these assumptions. We conducted a review of studies published between 1990 and May 2017 that examined urban biodiversity ecosystem service (BES) relationships. In total, we reviewed 317 publications and found biodiversity and UES metrics mentioned 944 times. Only 228 (24%) of the 944 mentions were empirically tested. Among these, 119 (52%) demonstrated a positive BES relationship. Our review showed that taxonomic metrics were used most often as proxies for biodiversity, with very little attention given to functional biodiversity metrics. Similarly, the role of particular species, including non-natives, and specific functional traits are understudied. Finally, we found a paucity of empirical evidence underpinning urban BES relationships. As urban planners increasingly incorporate UES delivery consideration to their decision-making, researchers need to address these substantial knowledge gaps to allow potential trade-offs and synergies between biodiversity conservation and the promotion of UES to be adequately accounted for.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-171
JournalEcosystem services
Volume27
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

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Biodiversity
literature review
ecosystem service
ecosystem services
urban areas
biodiversity
Ecosystem
urban area
urban ecosystem
green infrastructure
literature
urban planner
knowledge gap
Proxy
synergy
evidence
Publications
decision making
Decision Making
promotion

Keywords

  • ITC-ISI-JOURNAL-ARTICLE

Cite this

Schwarz, Nina ; Moretti, Marco ; Bugalho, Miguel N. ; Davies, Zoe G. ; Haase, Dagmar ; Hack, Jochen ; Hof, Angela ; Melero, Yolanda ; Pett, Tristan J. ; Knapp, Sonja. / Understanding biodiversity-ecosystem service relationships in urban areas : A comprehensive literature review. In: Ecosystem services. 2017 ; Vol. 27. pp. 161-171.
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abstract = "Positive relationships between biodiversity and urban ecosystem services (UES) are widely implied within both the scientific and policy literatures, along with the tacit suggestion that enhancing urban green infrastructure will automatically improve both biodiversity and UES. However, it is unclear how much published empirical evidence exists to support these assumptions. We conducted a review of studies published between 1990 and May 2017 that examined urban biodiversity ecosystem service (BES) relationships. In total, we reviewed 317 publications and found biodiversity and UES metrics mentioned 944 times. Only 228 (24{\%}) of the 944 mentions were empirically tested. Among these, 119 (52{\%}) demonstrated a positive BES relationship. Our review showed that taxonomic metrics were used most often as proxies for biodiversity, with very little attention given to functional biodiversity metrics. Similarly, the role of particular species, including non-natives, and specific functional traits are understudied. Finally, we found a paucity of empirical evidence underpinning urban BES relationships. As urban planners increasingly incorporate UES delivery consideration to their decision-making, researchers need to address these substantial knowledge gaps to allow potential trade-offs and synergies between biodiversity conservation and the promotion of UES to be adequately accounted for.",
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Schwarz, N, Moretti, M, Bugalho, MN, Davies, ZG, Haase, D, Hack, J, Hof, A, Melero, Y, Pett, TJ & Knapp, S 2017, 'Understanding biodiversity-ecosystem service relationships in urban areas: A comprehensive literature review' Ecosystem services, vol. 27, pp. 161-171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2017.08.014

Understanding biodiversity-ecosystem service relationships in urban areas : A comprehensive literature review. / Schwarz, Nina; Moretti, Marco; Bugalho, Miguel N.; Davies, Zoe G.; Haase, Dagmar; Hack, Jochen; Hof, Angela; Melero, Yolanda; Pett, Tristan J.; Knapp, Sonja.

In: Ecosystem services, Vol. 27, 01.10.2017, p. 161-171.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Understanding biodiversity-ecosystem service relationships in urban areas

T2 - A comprehensive literature review

AU - Schwarz, Nina

AU - Moretti, Marco

AU - Bugalho, Miguel N.

AU - Davies, Zoe G.

AU - Haase, Dagmar

AU - Hack, Jochen

AU - Hof, Angela

AU - Melero, Yolanda

AU - Pett, Tristan J.

AU - Knapp, Sonja

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N2 - Positive relationships between biodiversity and urban ecosystem services (UES) are widely implied within both the scientific and policy literatures, along with the tacit suggestion that enhancing urban green infrastructure will automatically improve both biodiversity and UES. However, it is unclear how much published empirical evidence exists to support these assumptions. We conducted a review of studies published between 1990 and May 2017 that examined urban biodiversity ecosystem service (BES) relationships. In total, we reviewed 317 publications and found biodiversity and UES metrics mentioned 944 times. Only 228 (24%) of the 944 mentions were empirically tested. Among these, 119 (52%) demonstrated a positive BES relationship. Our review showed that taxonomic metrics were used most often as proxies for biodiversity, with very little attention given to functional biodiversity metrics. Similarly, the role of particular species, including non-natives, and specific functional traits are understudied. Finally, we found a paucity of empirical evidence underpinning urban BES relationships. As urban planners increasingly incorporate UES delivery consideration to their decision-making, researchers need to address these substantial knowledge gaps to allow potential trade-offs and synergies between biodiversity conservation and the promotion of UES to be adequately accounted for.

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