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22.10.2018 | Ausgabe 2/2019

Urban Ecosystems 2/2019

Vegetation on and around large-scale buildings positively influences native tropical bird abundance and bird species richness

Zeitschrift:
Urban Ecosystems > Ausgabe 2/2019
Autoren:
Richard N. Belcher, Keren R. Sadanandan, Emmanuel R. Goh, Jie Yi Chan, Sacha Menz, Thomas Schroepfer

Abstract

High population growth in the tropics is driving urbanisation, removing diverse natural ecosystems. This is causing native species to suffer while introduced synanthropes flourish. City planners are developing urban greenspace networks, in part trying to address this issue. Architects contribute to these greenspace networks by designing elevated and ground level green spaces on large-scale buildings. However, little evidence is available on whether building green spaces support native fauna. This is true for birds in tropical Singapore that support important ecosystem services and have existence value. Therefore, in this study, we conducted bird surveys and statistical analyses to determine, if and how vegetation on three building green space types (ground gardens, roof gardens and green walls) have a positive impact on native or introduced bird species. We found that elevated greenery (roof gardens and green walls) on large-scale buildings supported a higher richness of birds and abundance of urban native birds than control roofs and walls without vegetation. Ground gardens supported similar levels of native species as roof gardens but also a larger proportion of generalist synanthropes. However, we found no tropical forest habitat specialists across any space type. Therefore, we recommend roof gardens and ground gardens as a potential space for urban natives outside of a less competitive ground-level urban environment. Our study also found certain building design elements (height of elevated space, presence of specific plants) supported different species groups. Therefore, we suggest that these ecological requirements for different species groups are considered when designing a building’s green space.

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