Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Urban Ecology

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0851-3_325

Definition of the Subject

Within the science of ecology, urban ecology is defined as the study of structure, dynamics, and processes in urban ecological systems. Urban ecology is the study of the relationships of human and nonhuman organisms in urban areas, the interactions of these organisms with the native and built physical environment, and the effects of these relationships on the fluxes of energy, materials, and information within individual urban systems and between urban and nonurban systems. Urban ecology applies the methods and concepts of the biological science of ecology to urban areas, but requires and integrates with the concerns, concepts, and approaches of social sciences to produce a hybrid discipline. Urban ecological systems include individual organisms, populations, communities, and landscapes, as well as buildings and infrastructure. Urban ecology further recognizes specific urban ecosystems as a part of the global biogeochemical, economic, and human demographic...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cary Institute of Ecosystem StudiesMillbrookUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA