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About This Book
Today, 55% of the world's human population lives in urban areas. By 2030, up to 90% of the global human population will live in cities and the global population is expected to increase by 68% by 2050. Although land cover categorized as "urban" is a relatively small fraction of the total surface of the Earth, urban areas are major driving forces in global environmental change, habitat loss, threats to biodiversity, and the loss of terrestrial carbon stored in vegetation biomass. These and many other factors highlight the need to understand the broad-scale impacts of urban expansion as it effects the ecological interactions between humans, wildlife and plant communities. In a series of essays by leading experts this book defines urban ecology, and provides much-needed focus on the main issues of this increasingly important subdiscipline such as the impacts of invasive species, protecting pollinators in urban environments, the green cities movement and ecological corridors. The book stresses the importance of understanding ecological forces and ecosystem services in urban areas and the integration of ecological concepts in urban planning and design. The creation of urban green spaces is critical to the future of urban areas, enhancing human social organization, human health and quality of life. Urban ecology is becoming a foundational component of many degree programs in universities worldwide and this book will be of great interest to students and researchers in ecology and conservation science, and those involved in urban planning and urban environmental management.