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Birds and the City: Urban Biodiversity, Land Use, and Socioeconomics

Michael W Strohbach, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Dagmar Haase, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Nadja Kabisch, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ

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Abstract

We examined bird diversity in relation to land use and socioeconomic indicators in Leipzig, Germany. We used neighborhood diversity (ND) and bivariate correlation to show that the potential to experience biodiversity in a city is associated with population density, household income, unemployment, and urban green space. People living in urban districts with high socioeconomic status experience the highest species richness around their homes, whereas lower social status increases the chance of living in species-poor neighborhoods. High-status districts are located along forests, parks, and rivers that have a high quantity and quality of green space. However, green space in general does not guarantee high bird diversity. We conclude that bird diversity mirrors land use and socioeconomic patterns within the compact European city of Leipzig. Therefore, urban planning should focus on decreasing these patterns and protecting the remaining species-rich green spaces.

Key words

biodiversity; human-environment interaction; neighborhood diversity; urban ecology
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087