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Title: Allotment gardens and parks: Provision of ecosystem services with an emphasis on biodiversity
Authors: Speak, A.F.
Mizgajski, Andrzej
Borysiak, Janina
Keywords: allotment gardens
ecosystem services
urban agriculture
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 14 (2015), pp. 772-781
Abstract: Urban areas, in particular, present unique challenges for the conservation of ecosystems. Allotment gardens (AGs) are an important greenspace feature of urban landscapes in Europe which have the potential to offer multiple social and bio-physical ecosystem services in addition to food production. This study is an attempt to assess and compare the ecosystem services provided by AGs in Manchester, UK, and Poznań, Poland as well as a comparison to city parks. The surveys included a detailed land cover characterisation and an assessment of cultivated and spontaneous plant species. There are differences in the land use characteristics in the two cities with a preference for vegetable growing and water recycling in Manchester, and a greater number of trees and a higher focus on recreation in Poznań. The consequences of these basic differences are discussed in terms of the ecosystem services that are provided by the two different AG types, and parks. In terms of ecology, there is higher species richness on AGs with a greater proportion of neophytes, which may potentially spread into cities. The species recorded in parks and AGs contained a lot of native characteristics of urban, ruderal plant communities.
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