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Ecological Restoration (BIO 409) Dr. McEwan Urban Ecology.

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Presentation on theme: "Ecological Restoration (BIO 409) Dr. McEwan Urban Ecology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ecological Restoration (BIO 409) Dr. McEwan Urban Ecology

2 Why urban ecology?

3 To some extent it is simple…human domination of the Earth is nearly complete. We rely on ecosystems for services, urban ecosystems are often wrecked. Thus, as the Human Enterprise expands, so does our need to do ecological restoration in urban areas.

4 Green spaces do good things for cities Storm flow: In (many) urban areas one of the most important “environmental issues” is managing storm flow. You don’t want floods washing people, and cars and things, out into the river. Storm flow can damage property and can wreck the sewer system,..which = major problem

5 Green spaces do good things for cities As urban areas expand. Parking lots expand, cement covers the landscape. Rain events are concentrated. Relatively minor events in natural ecosystems can be concentrated to create floods. Greenspaces including vegetation/soil allows for rainwater to penetrate to sub- surface aquifers. Standing surface accumulation is reduced, transport is greatly slowed. Absorption, Interception…

6 Urban ecosystems do good things for cities “About half the world’s population—3 billion people—now live in cities. In a couple decades, it’s going to be 5 billion people.” In developing countries, people often migrate to cities because of crop failures, natural disasters, or armed conflicts, not because cities have robust economies capable of supporting more people. In the coming decades, many new city dwellers will be desperately poor. With little access to air conditioning, refrigeration, or medical care, the world’s urban poor will be particularly vulnerable to heat wave health hazards. atures/GreenRoof/printall.php Urban heat island

7 Biophilia Hypothesis: Humans are healthier and saner when exposed to natural conditions E.O. Wilson. Genius, Crusader for Biodiversity, and all ‘round good guy.

8 Biophilia Hypothesis: Humans heal faster if they can see a tree from their l’hopital window.

9 Biophilia Hypothesis: Humans recover from stress more quickly if they see natural environments: 1991.pdf 1991.pdf

10 Biophilia Hypothesis: Children have better self discipline when they can see natural environments from their house r,%20Kuo,%20Sullivan%202002.pdf

11 Biophilia Hypothesis: Even brief encounters with nature improves ones mood 992.pdf

12 Biophilia Hypothesis: Overall, humans have better lives if they have access to natural environments…

13 Greenspaces do good things for cities Oh by the way: Green spaces …absorb particular matter. “Beautify” Provide habitat for critters people like to watch.. Reduce noise. Clean water. Encourage outdoor activity = healthier populous. Give kids a place to play Buffer wind

14 Greenspaces do good things for cities So can we agree that green spaces in cities are useful to humans?

15 Greenspaces do good things for cities Beyond that though….

16 Is this an ecosystem?


18 Some urban ecology questions: -How much cooling can be created by adding green space. -Carbon storage by urban system. -Stormwater mitigation associated with increasing green space.

19 Some urban ecology questions: -Socioecology.


21 Restoration in an urban setting? -How do you define reference conditions? (natural, unnatural, what works?) -How do you manage the social setting? -How do you manage the anthropogenic influences (salt, nitrogen, people walking ‘round)

22 Reconciliation Ecology The idea that we do not have natural areas enough to preserve what must be preserved. We have to integrate ecological preservation/restoration into the human enterprise.

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