Navigation Links
Green spaces don't ensure biodiversity in urban areas
Date:10/31/2014

Planting trees and creating green space in cities is good for attracting species, but it may not be enough to ensure biodiversity in built environments, a University of Iowa study has found.

The researchers surveyed two types of tree in an urban area in Iowa, and recorded the abundance of two insects that interact with them. They found that while there were plenty of the trees, black cherry and black walnut, they didn't find a corresponding abundance of the insects, in this case fruit flies that feed on the walnuts and black cherries and a type of wasp that feeds on the flies.

"In cities, you might have more trees, but you don't necessarily have more insects associated with them," says Andrew Forbes, associate professor of biology and an author on the paper, published online in the journal PLOS ONE. "There's still this real impact on diversity that's mediated by the landscape. This study implies that cities decrease diversity in some sort of fundamental, intrinsic way."

Amanda Nelson, a graduate student in biology at the UI, led a team of a dozen UI undergraduates who surveyed 250 sites in Iowa City for black cherry and black walnut trees. At sites where the researchers found trees, they collected fruit and counted the fruit flies found in the walnuts and cherries. They also counted the parasitic wasps that feed on the flies at each site. Although the cherry and walnut trees were more common in urban sites, Nelson and her team found fewer flies and wasps in these locations than in agricultural or undeveloped sites.

The researchers believe that barriers found in urban landscapes, such as built structures and paved areas, may make it difficult, if not impossible, for the insects to reach other trees, mate with other populations and thus enrich the gene pool. Nelson is trying to determine which physical barriers have the greatest impact on the insects by currently comparing the DNA of flies across urban sites.

"We can model how they're moving across the landscape and then compare that to the characteristics of landscapes that we think might be impeding them," says Nelson, who earned undergraduate degrees in biology and environmental science at the UI and is the corresponding author on the paper.

While other studies have examined the density of a single insect species across a range of landscapes, no other study has examined insect interactions across such a broad area, says Forbes. Nelson and her team sampled tens of thousands of fruits and counted hundreds of thousands of insects during the survey, which lasted from 2011 to 2013.

"Planting a tree in the city is not sufficient to then have walnut flies and the wasps that attack those walnut flies," says Forbes, who advised Nelson on the project. "We think there's something about the city that changes those dynamics, those interactions between plants and flies and the insects that eat those flies."

Despite this, Nelson thinks that finding ways for insects and people to share developed space is still an important goal to pursue.

"The responses of the diversity of organisms that could potentially share these developed areas with us can be really idiosyncratic. To promote the full diversity, we really have a lot to learn," says Nelson, who's from Exira, Iowa. "That doesn't mean our efforts are wasted, but it definitely means that we need to continue trying to learn to do a better job and be thoughtful about it."


'/>"/>

Contact: Richard Lewis
richard-c-lewis@uiowa.edu
319-384-0012
University of Iowa
@uiowa
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Dartmouth study finds restoring wetlands can lessen soil sinkage, greenhouse gas emissions
2. Greenland Ice Sheet more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought
3. Green light for clever algae
4. How to make stronger, greener cement
5. Greenhouse gas research enters a new era
6. Keystone XL would likely raise oil sands production and greenhouse gas emissions
7. Green wave explains migratory bird routes
8. A Mexican plant could lend the perfume industry more green credibility
9. Globalization threatens benefits of an African green revolution
10. To clean air and beyond: Catching greenhouse gases with advanced membranes
11. Green tea polyphenols protect spinal cord neurons against oxidative stress
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Green spaces don't ensure biodiversity in urban areas
(Date:10/5/2018)... N.C. (PRWEB) , ... October 05, 2018 , ... ... Nutrition North America, Inc. (AHN), is announcing a 10% price increase across all ... AHN produces amino acids — the building blocks of protein — for the ...
(Date:10/5/2018)... ... ... Nothing brings a team together like cooking and eating does, which is ... to companies because it encourages a range of healthy activities that can translate into ... also appealing in that everyone – no matter their culinary ability – can participate. ...
(Date:10/2/2018)... ... , ... Through this webinar, sponsored by Molecular Devices , participants will ... role of calcium kinetics in cardiac safety testing. The speakers for this event will ... Tsang Wai Lam, an assay development scientist at PPSC. , They will discuss how ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2018)... Ohio (PRWEB) , ... October 02, 2018 , ... ... announced, and Locus Bio-Energy Solutions™, LLC’s (Locus Bio-Energy) AssurEOR product line was chosen ... World Oil and Gulf Energy Information, honor leading innovations in upstream oil applications ...
(Date:9/28/2018)... ... September 28, 2018 , ... GlycoMark®, Inc. has announced a ... GlycoMark test, the only FDA-cleared blood test specific to detecting recent hyperglycemia and ... offer the GlycoMark test to its network of physicians through its sales organization ...
(Date:9/27/2018)... BOSTON (PRWEB) , ... September 26, 2018 , ... ... conference. Medable is a platform that aims to build the first human digitome, ... clinical trial and real-world data through a seamless integration of all data sources. ...
(Date:9/24/2018)... ... , ... ReGrow Helmet , the most advanced laser hair treatment device, ... hair regrowth in the comfort of one’s home. Early campaign backers will save 40% ... sophisticated design and advanced technology of the ReGrow Helmet will lead the industry in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: