National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)
1 Park Place, Suite 300
Annapolis, MD 21401
Title: Effects of socioeconomics and neighbor mimicry on vegetation and biodiversity in residential neighborhoods
Residential yards are perhaps the most under-appreciated and under-studied ecosystem in the world. Although the area they cover is relatively small, on a global scale their impact on humans is disproportionately large. In cities, where the majority of people live, residential yards can comprise 25-35% of the total landscape. The composition and configuration of yards across a city influences patterns of biodiversity as well as ecosystem service provision and quality of life for urban residents.
Although lawns comprise a dominant vegetation type around many homes, people's preferences for garden plants are very diverse. In Chicago, we recorded ~500 plant species in just a sample of front yards. This plant biodiversity can trickle up to higher trophic levels. In this talk, I will discuss several different research projects in residential yards. In particular, I will examine socioeconomic drivers and spatial patterns in yard vegetation, and will discuss how this relates to larger-scale patterns of biodiversity and ecosystem service provision.
About the Seminar Speaker:
Dr. Emily Minor is an Associate Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago. She has a joint appointment in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Institute for Environmental Science and Policy. Her area of research is the ecology of human-dominated landscapes, with a particular focus on urban ecosystems. She was trained as an ecologist but much of her recent work incorporates interactions between humans and their environment. Her current favorite study system is residential neighborhoods, where people interact with nature in many ways every day.
SESYNC seminars are open to all interested attendees. Join us in Annapolis!
The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, funded through an award to the University of Maryland from the National Science Foundation, is a research center dedicated to accelerating data-driven scientific discovery at the interface of human and ecological systems. Visit us online at www.sesync.org and follow us on Twitter @SESYNC.