Win–win urban ecology: near-home fishing promotes diversity of Odonata
It is generally thought that increased human activity or infrastructure automatically translates to decreased wildlife activity or abundance. We surveyed dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata) at fourteen urban parks with water features to determine factors that promote or hinder species richness or overall abundance. We constructed basic decision trees with either richness or abundance as a response variable and a suite of park characteristics (e.g., size, footprint of the water feature(s), habitat heterogeneity, presence and extent of infrastructure) as predictors. We found that the key predictor of both higher odonate richness and higher odonate abundance was the presence and extent of fishing activities. Despite higher human use at parks that promoted angling, as well as more infrastructure and increased management at these parks—factors that typically are thought to be correlated negatively with biodiversity—odonates and humans benefit from maintaining them and, we suggest, ensuring proper water quality persists. If it is good for fish, it is good for aquatic insects.
KeywordsCommunity composition Fishing Human use Odonata Urban parks
We thank Brett Roberts for his assistance with field surveys and Eli S. Bridge and Jeff F. Kelly for comments on a draft of the manuscript.
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