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Skyline of Leipzig, Germany


The skyline of Leipzig, Germany

The skyline of Leipzig, Germany. Cities are growing around the world, and understanding how urbanization and urban gardening impact biodiversity and ecosystem services is increasingly important.

There are more plant species in cities in both the U.S. and Europe than in rural areas. Plant species in urban areas are more closely related to each other and often share similar functions. Consequently, urban ecosystems should be more sensitive towards environmental impacts than rural ecosystems. This is concluded by German and U.S. scientists based on a field study in Minneapolis (Minnesota) led by Jeannine Cavender-Bares, associate professor at the University of Minnesota. The new study confirms results obtained by Dr. Sonja Knapp and colleagues of Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in a study on the German flora in 2008. The new results have been published as a preprint in Ecology and have been highlighted in the renowned science magazine Nature.

To read more about this research, see the UFZ press release Live fast, die young. (Date of Image: September 2011)

Credit: Andre Kunzelmann, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research

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