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Soil Ecology and Ecosystem Services$
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Diana H. Wall, Richard D. Bardgett, Valerie Behan-Pelletier, Jeffrey E. Herrick, T. Hefin Jones, Karl Ritz, Johan Six, Donald R. Strong, and Wim H. van der Putten

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199575923

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575923.001.0001

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Urbanization, Soils, and Ecosystem Services

Urbanization, Soils, and Ecosystem Services

Chapter:
(p.270) Chapter 4.3 Urbanization, Soils, and Ecosystem Services
Source:
Soil Ecology and Ecosystem Services
Author(s):

Mitchell A. Pavao-Zuckerman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575923.003.0023

Cities are often perceived as being separated from nature, yet there are very real linkages between urban populations and ecological dynamics that become apparent through the lens of ecosystem services. This chapter highlights the potential to develop ecosystem services in cities, using soil-based services as examples. The framework of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is a conceptual scheme to assess urban soil ecosystem services: (a) supporting services (i.e., nutrient cycling, supporting primary production, biodiversity); (b) provisioning ecosystem services (i.e., urban gardening, storm water management); (c) regulating ecosystem services (i.e., greenhouse gas emissions, C-sequestration); and (d) cultural ecosystem services (i.e., education, parks, landscaping). Cities have important direct (compaction, soil sealing, composition) and indirect (microclimate, hydrology, species introductions, pollution) impacts on soils that may affect the desired provision of ecosystem services. The chapter concludes with a discussion of management and urban planning issues related to ecosystem services and these impacts. Often, local soil conditions are degraded in cities, requiring some intervention to improve properties that would support ecosystem services. These practices extend to larger scales of management, planning, and restoration. Urban ecosystem services provide a way to link soils to human health and well-being, foster collaborations between ecologists and other disciplines, and to connect citizens to their local environments.

Keywords:   soil sealing, biodiversity, ecosystem services, urban management, urban planning, built environment, soil quality

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