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Browsing by Subject "maaperätiede"

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  • Tahvanainen, Meeri (2022)
    The ongoing growth and densification of urban areas is threatening biodiversity in cities. Previously continuous habitats are reduced and fragmented into smaller areas, which increases the edge effect and changes the qualities of the original habitat. Urban greenspaces are frequently used by people, and disturbances, such as trampling, and understorey management are increasing the similarity of habitat patches (i.e. homogenisation). In this study, I investigated the effects of small-scale homogeneity in forests produced by urbanisation on the distribution patterns and trait composition of carabid beetles. Sampling was done with pitfall traps during the summer of 2021 and altogether 21 study sites were selected in the City of Lahti, Finland. The study sites represented three different environments: 1) structurally complex (heterogenous) habitat in remnant spruce forests in the city, 2) structurally simple (homogenous) habitat in remnant spruce forests in the city, 3) structurally simple habitat under spruce trees in managed urban parks. In addition to the beetles, a set of environmental variables was collected to quantify the complexity of the three habitat types. As expected, habitat homogeneity affected carabid beetle species composition so that the proportion of generalist and open-habitat species was greater in homogenous sites, including homogenous forest remnants and highly homogenous urban parks, whereas the proportion of forest specialists was greater in heterogenous forests. Species richness was higher in the homogenous sites due to species-rich open-habitat genera in the carabid beetle family. Trait distribution at the community level showed clear differences between the three studied habitat types. As expected, the proportions of large and heavy species were higher in the forest habitats than in the parks, whereas homogenous habitats, especially highly homogenous park sites consisted of a higher proportion of flight capable species than heterogenous forests. At the species level, individual beetles were generally smaller in the parks, whereas the results between the two forest types varied and a clear difference between habitat specialists and generalists could not be detected. As cities grow, keeping the management of greenspaces moderate, selecting native vegetation, and preserving decaying woody material are ways to increase habitat heterogeneity, which according to this study, can support biodiversity and life of different organisms in urban areas.