Changes in the Functional Composition of a Central European Urban Flora over Three Centuries

  • Sonja Knapp


Urbanization has shaped European landscapes for many centuries. The first towns already developed around 700 B.C. in the Mediterranean (Antrop 2004). Since these early times, urbanization spread all over Europe which is today one of the most urbanized continents, with 72% of the total population living in urban areas (only Latin and Northern America have higher rates of urban population with 78% and 81% respectively; United Nations 2008). In the 18th century and especially in the 19th century, industrialization and trade caused the growth of many European towns (Berry 1990). However, the main phase of urbanization took place in the 20th century (Berry 1990; United Nations 2006) with its rapid developments in transportation techniques (Berry 1990; Antrop 2004). The increased mobility, together with other factors, such as political frameworks, enabled urban sprawl, which was especially strong in the second half of the 20th century (Kasanko et al.2006).


Native Species Specific Leaf Area Functional Composition Trait State Total Flora 
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© Vieweg+Teubner | GWV Fachverlage GmbH 2010

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  • Sonja Knapp

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