The “Ecological Homogenization of Urban America” project was supported by a series of collaborative grants from this program (EF-1065548, 1065737, 1065740, 1065741,1065772,1065785, 1065831, 121238320. The work arose from research funded by grants from the NSF Long Term Ecological Research Program supporting work in Baltimore (DEB-0423476), Phoenix (BCS-1026865, DEB-0423704 and DEB-9714833), Plum Island (Boston)(OCE-1058747 and 1238212), Cedar Creek (Minneapolis–St Paul) (DEB-0620652), and Florida Coastal Everglades (Miami) (DBI-0620409)
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Biodiversity, Ecology, Ecological research, Land use management -- United States, Biogeography
A visually apparent but scientifically untested outcome of land-use change is homogenization across urban areas, where neighborhoods in different parts of the country have similar patterns of roads, residential lots, commercial areas, and aquatic features. We hypothesize that this homogenization extends to ecological structure and also to ecosystem functions such as carbon dynamics and microclimate, with continental-scale implications. Further, we suggest that understanding urban homogenization will provide the basis for understanding the impacts of urban land-use change from local to continental scales. Here, we show how multi-scale, multi-disciplinary datasets from six metropolitan areas that cover the major climatic regions of the US (Phoenix, AZ; Miami, FL; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Minneapolis–St Paul, MN; and Los Angeles, CA) can be used to determine how household and neighborhood characteristics correlate with land-management practices, land-cover composition, and landscape structure and ecosystem functions at local, regional, and continental scales.
Groll'man, P.M., J. Gawnder-Bares, N.D. Bettez, J.M. Grow, S.J. Hall, J.B. Heffernan, S.E. Hobbie, K.L. Larson, J.L. Moraa, C. Neill, K. Nelson, J. O'Neil Dunne, L. Ogden, D.E. Pataki, C. Polsky, R Roy Chowdury, M.K. Steele. 2014. Ecological homogenization of urban USA. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment