Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (332 KB)

Title: Urban ecological systems: linking terrestrial ecological, physical, and socioeconomic components of metropolitan areas

Author: Pickett, S.T.A.; Cadenasso, M.L.; Grove, M.J.; Nilon, C.H.; Pouyat, R.V.; Zipperer, W.C.;

Date: 2001

Source: Annual Review of Ecological Systems. 32:127-157.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Ecological studies of terrestrial urban systems have been approached along several kinds of contrasts: ecology in as opposed to ecology of cities; biogeochemical compared to organismal perspectives, land use planning versus biological, and disciplinary versus interdisciplinary. In order to point out how urban ecological studies are poised for significant integration, we review key aspects of these disparate literatures. We emphasize an open definition of urban systems that accounts for the exchanges of material and influence between cities and surrounding landscapes. Research on ecology in urban systems highlights the nature of the physical environment, including urban climate, hydrology, and soils. Biotic research has studied flora, fauna, and vegetation, including trophic effects of wildlife and pets. Unexpected interactions among soil chemistry, leaf litter quality, and exotic invertebrates exemplify the novel kinds of interactions that can occur in urban systems. Vegetation and faunal responses suggest that the configuration of spatial heterogeneity is especially important in urban systems. This insight parallels the concern in the literature on the ecological dimensions of land use planning. The contrasting approach of ecology of cities has used a strategy of biogeochemical budgets, ecological footprints, and summaries of citywide species richness. Contemporary ecosystem approaches have begun to integrate organismal, nutrient, and energetic approaches, and to show the need for understanding the social dimensions of urban ecology. Social structure and the social allocation of natural and institutional resources are subjects that are well understood within social sciences, and that can be readily accommodated in ecosystem models of metropolitan areas. Likewise, the sophisticated understanding of spatial dimensions of social differentiation has parallels with concepts and data on patch dynamics in ecology and sets the stage for comprehensive understanding of urban ecosystems. The linkages are captured in the human ecosystem framework.

Keywords: city, hierarchy theory, integration, patch dynamics, urban ecology

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Pickett, S.T.A.; Cadenasso, M.L.; Grove, M.J.; Nilon, C.H.; Pouyat, R.V.; Zipperer, W.C. 2001. Urban ecological systems: linking terrestrial ecological, physical, and socioeconomic components of metropolitan areas. Annual Review of Ecological Systems. 32:127-157.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.