Biodiversity in the City: Fundamental Questions for Understanding the Ecology of Urban Green Spaces for Biodiversity Conservation

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As urban areas expand, understanding how ecological processes function in cities has become increasingly important for conserving biodiversity. Urban green spaces are critical habitats to support biodiversity, but we still have a limited understanding of their ecology and how they function to conserve biodiversity at local and landscape scales across multiple taxa. Given this limited view, we discuss five key questions that need to be addressed to advance the ecology of urban green spaces for biodiversity conservation and restoration. Specifically, we discuss the need for research to understand how green space size, connectedness, and type influence the community, population, and life-history dynamics of multiple taxa in cities. A research framework based in landscape and metapopulation ecology will allow for a greater understanding of the ecological function of green spaces and thus allow for planning and management of green spaces to conserve biodiversity and aid in restoration activities.

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