Urban Neighborhood Parks: A locus for cross-site, interdisciplinary research
Paige Warren
Humans actively construct biological communities in their gardens, yards and neighborhood parks. Different human communities and societal institutions are likely to construct different landscapes with different consequences for ecological patterns such as avian diversity. In urban parks, two different kinds of human forces should be affecting biodiversity: governmental design and management decisions (‘top-down’ factors) and the aggregated effects of many individual and household level decisions in the neighborhood surrounding parks (‘bottom-up’ factors). We are currently conducting projects in both Phoenix and Baltimore across a set of parks located in neighborhoods of varying socioeconomic status. In Phoenix, we have shown that bird species diversity is positively correlated with neighborhood socioeconomic factors, demonstrating a strong ‘bottom-up’ influence on the ecological properties of urban parks. I will present these results and describe the approach we are taking at these two urban LTER sites.
Keywords: biodiversity, interdisciplinary, parks, birds

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