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Study shows urbanisation’s impact on biodiversity

MARK KINVER / BBC – A dataset, described as the largest of it kind to date, has assessed the impact of urbanisation on biodiversity levels around the globe.

It found that cities supported far fewer species of birds and plants compared with similar areas of undeveloped land.

However, it showed the vast majority of flora and fauna in a city reflected an area’s “unique biotic heritage”.

The findings appear in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Green spaces provide an “important refuge” for native and migratory species, the team observed

“While we show that urbanisation has caused cities to lose large numbers of plants and animals, the good news is that cities still retain endemic native species, which opens the door for new policies on regional and global biodiversity conservation,” said co-author Myla Aronson, a research scientist from Rutgers University, in the US state of New Jersey …