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Monday, April 9 • 5:30pm - 7:00pm
POSTER: Residential Landscape Ecology: Understanding Ecological Patterns and Processes of the Fastest Growing Land Cover Type in the U.S.

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AUTHORS: Basil V. Iannone III, Gisele Nighswander, Kayla Hess – School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida

ABSTRACT: Residential landscapes and their associated institutional and economic land uses are the fastest growing land cover type in the United States. These anthropogenic ecosystems alter spatial patterns of biodiversity and species movement through a number of mechanisms, including habitat fragmentation and the creation of designer and engineered ecosystems, such as ornamental gardens and stormwater ponds. Furthermore, while urban and urbanizing areas tend to be ecologically homogeneous relative to one another across large spatial scales, ecological processes, particularly those occurring at smaller spatial scales, within a given urban or residential landscape can be very heterogeneous. This poster will highlight multiple investigations being conducted by the Residential Landscape Ecology Lab at the University of Florida that contribute to the long-term goal of quantifying spatial patterns and drivers of ecological processes within and surrounding residential landscapes. The aims of these projects are: (1) to mitigate the negative impacts of expanding residential landscapes and (2) to inform the design of future residential landscapes so that they exhibit greater levels of ecological functionality. Ongoing projects include quantifying how landscaping practices aimed at reducing irrigation and fertilizer needs impact hydrological connectivity, water quality, and plant communities in adjacent wetlands; determining the degree to which ornamental plantings in stormwater pond networks benefit downstream water quality; and the effects of alpha and beta diversity, structural complexity, and landscape context of ornamental gardens on top-down and bottom-up regulation of herbivorous arthropod pests. In addition, we are pursuing research aimed at quantifying the impacts of landscaping plant choices and stormwater ponds on patterns of plant invasion across multiple spatial scales and quantifying spatial heterogeneity in ecosystem services that benefit homeowners (e.g., cooling, soil fertility, and arthropod pest control) and the spatial thresholds at which these services become homogeneous.

Monday April 9, 2018 5:30pm - 7:00pm CDT
Monroe Room