It is known that a large variety of animals and plants exist in urban areas and particularly in semi-natural urban habitats. This high biodiversity not only has a great ecological value, but also a positive impact on the people who live in the city. Thus, the biodiversity of urban green areas increases the health, well-being and quality of life of city dwellers. Gardeners also benefit from the so-called ecosystem services such as pollination and biological pest control.
So far, we know little about how biodiversity is distributed across urban areas, which types of gardens show a particularly high biodiversity and to what extent biodiversity depends on the form of management and the nature of the landscape around it. To figure this out we will examine the diversity of plants and animals and their respective ecosystem services in a total of 80 private and allotment gardens in the city of Zurich.
To this end we will select gardens which are being cultivated with diverse intensities, which differ in their structural diversity, and which lie in areas with different densities. Based on the research results of this subproject, strategies will be developed how to preserve and promote urban biodiversity and ecosystem services. In addition, the population can be sensitized and informed about the importance of the diversity of organisms in urban areas and the ecosystem services they provide.
Marco Moretti, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, marco.moretti(at)wsl.ch