It might seem counterintuitive, but if cities and towns were properly designed, they could help species face the threat posed by climate change.
It might seem counterintuitive, but if cities and towns were properly designed, they could help species face the threat posed by climate change. According to a new study published in Ecology, animals move faster through “low-quality habitat” than through “high-quality habitat.” This aspect of animal behaviour could radically change the way we analyze how species move through the environment. It may also give us the tools we need to manage landscapes in a way that enhances the protection of insects and other wildlife.
The study, led by Elizabeth Crone, a professor of biology at Tufts University, and researchers from University of Liverpool, Washington State University and the University of Ottawa, provides a framework for definitive action to help preserve many species at risk. For urban and suburban landscapes to help expand the range of species, a specific balance needs to be struck between low and high-quality habitat: when a minimum standard is met, urban green spaces could in fact become an advantageous conduit for migration.
Urban landscapes as a whole will always be low-quality habitat, but if a percentage of them was converted into high-quality habitat, if simple lawns became native plant gardens, the desired balance would be met.
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