Invasion, competition, and biodiversity loss in Urban ecosystems

Eyal Shochat, Susannah B. Lerman, John Anderies, Paige S. Warren, Stanley H. Faeth, Charles H. Nilon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

179 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The global decline in biodiversity as a result of urbanization remains poorly understood. Whereas habitat destruction accounts for losses at the species level, it may not explain diversity loss at the community level, because urban centers also attract synanthropic species that do not necessarily exist in wildlands. Here we suggest an alternative framework for understanding this phenomenon: the competitive exclusion of native, non-synanthropic species by invasive species. We use data from two urban centers (Phoenix and Baltimore) and two taxa (birds and spiders) to link diversity loss with reduced community evenness among species in urban communities. This reduction in evenness may be caused by a minority of invasive species dominating the majority of the resources, consequently excluding nonsynanthropic species that could otherwise adapt to urban conditions. We use foraging efficiency as a mechanism to explain the loss of diversity. Thus, to understand the effects of habitat conversion on biodiversity, and to sustain species-rich communities, future research should give more attention to interspecific interactions in urban settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalBioScience
Volume60
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Fingerprint

Biodiversity
invasive species
Ecosystem
biodiversity
Introduced Species
ecosystems
competitive exclusion
habitat destruction
urbanization
Araneae
foraging
Baltimore
Urbanization
Spiders
birds
habitats
Birds

Keywords

  • Coexistence
  • Evenness
  • Giving-up density
  • Optimal foraging
  • Rank distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Shochat, E., Lerman, S. B., Anderies, J., Warren, P. S., Faeth, S. H., & Nilon, C. H. (2010). Invasion, competition, and biodiversity loss in Urban ecosystems. BioScience, 60(3), 199-208. https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2010.60.3.6

Invasion, competition, and biodiversity loss in Urban ecosystems. / Shochat, Eyal; Lerman, Susannah B.; Anderies, John; Warren, Paige S.; Faeth, Stanley H.; Nilon, Charles H.

In: BioScience, Vol. 60, No. 3, 03.2010, p. 199-208.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Shochat, E, Lerman, SB, Anderies, J, Warren, PS, Faeth, SH & Nilon, CH 2010, 'Invasion, competition, and biodiversity loss in Urban ecosystems', BioScience, vol. 60, no. 3, pp. 199-208. https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2010.60.3.6
Shochat, Eyal ; Lerman, Susannah B. ; Anderies, John ; Warren, Paige S. ; Faeth, Stanley H. ; Nilon, Charles H. / Invasion, competition, and biodiversity loss in Urban ecosystems. In: BioScience. 2010 ; Vol. 60, No. 3. pp. 199-208.
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