The Importance of Landscape Structure for Urban Vegetation Complexity
Check out Matthew Mitchell’s recent post on the Journal of Applied Ecology blog discussing our recent paper demonstrating that urban vegetation vertical structure is strongly related to the spatial structure of urban landscapes. Our key finding was that vegetation cover and the vertical diversity of vegetation at a site scale declined as the amount of vegetation in the surrounding landscape declined. This implies that loss of vegetation due to urbanisation is accompanied by a simplification of the structure of the vegetation that is left. Given the importance of vegetation structural complexity for biodiversity and ecosystem services, active management of vegetation structure in cities maybe a critical strategy for maximising the ecosystem benefits of urban green space.