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How to Concretize Research on the Coupling of Ecosystems to Human Action? The Case of Plant Communities in Settlements

  • Author(s): Jetzkowitz, Jens
  • Schneider, Jörg
  • et al.
Abstract

Recent ecological studies have integrated human actions as a relevant dimension for maintaining ecosystems and current evolutionary processes. However, most of them rely on indicators which are subject to critical scrutiny in sociological discourse since the 1980s. Therefore, we bring the concept of style up to discussion. Analysing the styles of living can be considered as a strategy to understand the coupling of society to nature.

We examine our assumption in an interdisciplinary approach to urban ecology and landscape research aiming to explain the distribution of native and alien plants and its interaction with urbanization. In a tentative outline we determine four dependent species-related variables in 67 settlements near Frankfurt/Main (Germany). As predictor variables we use geological, habitat-related and infrastructural parameters and also variables based on observed styles of acting and living. The findings indicate that lifestyles, garden styles and spatio-temporal action patterns strongly influence plant species composition in settlements.

Keywords: human-environment interaction, lifestyle, plant distribution, plant biodiversity, urbanization, urban ecology

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