Bringing nature back to cities: using green infrastructure to support arthropod biodiversity 

Organized by: González Ezequiel, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague; María Silvina Fenoglio
(IMBIV, UNC/CONICET, Argentina)

Urbanization is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity globally (Elmqvist et al, 2016). As urban areas are expected to continue expanding at the expense of natural and cultivated areas, there is an urgent need to find strategies to conserve biodiversity within cities. In consequence, the diversity of arthropod communities is usually lower in cities than in rural-natural areas (Fenoglio et al., 2020), and the combined effects of multiple urbanization drivers, along with the role of species traits, can explain the mechanisms behind these biodiversity declines (Fenoglio et al., 2021). Designing, creating and managing components of the urban green infrastructure are promising ways to support arthropod biodiversity in cities. Green roofs, vacant lots, and urban gardens are some of the most common components of the urban green infrastructure and have been shown to support arthropod communities (e.g., Tresch et al, 2020; Egerer et al, 2020; Fabian et al, 2021). Nevertheless, in order to effectively conserve biodiversity in cities, different aspects of the design and management of these habitats need to be considered. In this symposium, researchers from different countries will summarize their experiences of how to support arthropod biodiversity in cities in a series of 5-6 invited lectures. The symposium will end with a panel discussion where the different approaches and their effectiveness will be compared and a set of recommendations for conserving arthropod biodiversity in cities will be developed.

Key references:
Elmqvist, T., Zipperer, W., & Güneralp, B. (2016). Urbanisation, habitat loss, biodiversity decline: Solution pathways to break the cycle. In K. Seta, W. D. Solecki, & C. A. Griffith (Eds.), Routledge handbook of urbanisation and global environmental change (pp. 139–151). London, UK and New York, NY: Routledge.

Egerer M, Cecala JM and Cohen H. (2020) Wild bee conservation within urban gardens and nurseries: effects of local and landscape management, Sustainability 12: 1-10

Fabián, D., González, E., Sánchez Domínguez, M.V., Salvo, A. & Fenoglio, M.S. 2021. Green roof size is not all that matters for arthropod biodiversity: higher plant richness and lower isolation enhance natural enemies. Urban Greening & Urban Forestry, 61, 127107

Fenoglio, M. S., Calviño, A., González, E., Salvo, A., & Videla, M. 2021. Urbanisation drivers and underlying mechanisms of terrestrial insect diversity loss in cities. Ecological Entomology. DOI: 10.1111/een.13041

Fenoglio, M. S., Rossetti, M. R., & Videla, M. 2020. Negative effects of urbanization on terrestrial arthropod communities: A meta-analysis. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 29 (8) 1412-1429.

Tresch, S., Frey, D., Le Bayon, R. C., Zanetta, A., Rasche, F., Fliessbach, A., & Moretti, M. (2019). Litter decomposition driven by soil fauna, plant diversity and soil management in urban gardens. Science of the Total Environment, 658, 1614-1629.

Presentations:
Land sharing in urban gardens to support insect biodiversity
Monika Egerer (Technische Universität München, Germany)

Insect biodiversity in Latin American cities: state of the art and future directions
Maria Fenoglio (Instituto Multidisciplinario De Biología Vegetal (imbiv), Universidad Nacional De Córdoba (unc), Conicet., Argentina)

Is Vacant Land a Valuable Habitat for Urban Bees?
Mary Gardiner (The Ohio State University, United States)

What factors drive arthropod communities on extensive green roofs of Central Argentina?
Ezequiel Gonzalez (Imbiv (conicet), Argentina)

Effects of highway pollution on plant-insect interactions
Emily Meineke (Uc Davis, United States)

Urban grassland habitats are valuable for maintaining insect and plant diversity
Stephen Venn (University of Lodz, Poland)