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Urban Wastelands Can Be Amazing Reservoirs of Biodiversity for Cities

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Abstract

Urban wastelands are areas previously exploited, then abandoned, and colonized by spontaneous vegetation. These areas are characterized by the abandonment of management, which leads to the coexistence of the flora once cultivated or horticultural flora with spontaneous flora. There follows a succession of plant species benefiting from much less intensive disturbance regimes than in other urban areas. To what extent are these wastelands reservoirs of biodiversity? Their diversity is optimal when their size exceeds a few thousand square meters, when their age is between 15 and 20 years, when they are connected to other biodiversity reservoirs by vegetated linear infrastructures, and when the pressure of human activities remains low. In this case, the preservation of these wastelands represents a significant benefit for the preservation of a city's biodiversity, and for the benefit, among other services, of the quality of life of its citizens.

Keywords

  • Urban ecology
  • Ecosystem services
  • Ecological networks

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Fig. 1

© N. Machon

Fig. 2

© N. Machon

Fig. 3

© N. Machon

Fig. 4

© N. Machon

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Acknowledgements

This text was largely inspired by the work of Audrey Muratet (https://www.audreymuratet.com/fr/). The English text was corrected by Dominique Macabies (https://dominique.macabies.fr/). I would like to thank Juliane Mathey, Amélie Robert and Francesca Di Pietro for their attentive reviews and their precious and wise advice on how to improve the text.

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Machon, N. (2021). Urban Wastelands Can Be Amazing Reservoirs of Biodiversity for Cities. In: Di Pietro, F., Robert, A. (eds) Urban Wastelands. Cities and Nature. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-74882-1_1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-74882-1_1

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