Urban Gardens attracted rare birds and bees by rare plants

Urban Gardens attracted rare birds and bees through these rare plants

Urban Gardens attracted rare birds and bees by rare plants

Urban gardens can be a hotspot for biodiversity in cities, but we don’t know much about the factors that drive the diversity of species found at the lowest frequencies or the rarest. According to studies older gardeners, women, and those who live close to gardens tend to have more rare plants.

  • There appears to be a cascading effect where people plant uncommon species, which leads to the accumulation of other rare bee and bird species.
  • More than half of the plants found in urban gardens were rare. This means that urban gardeners are planting an incredible variety of rare plants.

Rare species in less managed systems are more likely to be extinct. However, they may also be less adaptable to urban environments or less popular to grow. The rare status could indicate that urban gardens are providing important habitats for rare species. However, it could also be a sign of what is to come for these species.

  • For example, the purple finch ( Haemorhouspurpureus), was one of the rarer birds that were observed in the urban gardens. However, it is a fairly common species elsewhere. Their rarity in urban gardens could be cause for concern if this indicates that their numbers are declining. It could be, however, that urban gardens provide more habitat for birds like purple finches and others than cities lack.

The gardens are all organic and use no pesticides or insecticides. Each organism was sampled using a different method, depending on its species.

The plants were measured and classified as ornamental or crop species.

  • Ornamental plants are plants that are not grown for food but are cultivated primarily for their beauty.
  • All birds heard or seen were recorded by researchers standing in the middle of each garden for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  • The bees were captured using aerial nets and pan traps that were elevated above the ground.

  • Taro ( Colocasia esculenta), is one of the rarer plants found in urban gardens, but it’s not of conservation concern primarily because it’s cultivated.
  • It is a traditional Hawaiian crop that has been used in many Asian cultures. It needs a lot of space to grow and can be used to cook for its underground corm.
  • However, it is not common in California.
  • Gardeners who grow less common crops such as taro may also plant less common habitats for other species like the well-watered soils required to grow taro.

Research has shown that rare plants can have special relationships with bees.

  • One such rare bee-plant duo was found in the study. It is “Bachelor’s buttons” (Centaurea species ), a genus ornamental plant with showy rays and belonged to the thistle aster (Hexachile apicalis).
  • The leafcutting bee (Megachile apicalis), whose females trim leaves to create nests for their young. Most of the time in rotting wood.
  • The American kestrel (Falco Sparverius) was one of the rare birds that the team came across. It’s a cute and small falcon, but it is the most widespread and common falcon on the continent.
  • Recent declines in its numbers have been causing for concern. It is a key predator of garden pests such as mice and voles. Therefore, it is a positive sign that it has been found in urban gardens.
  • This indicates that urban gardens can be managed to provide habitat for rare species. Research has shown that rare birds prefer gardens with more canopy.

The reasons rare plants are planted more frequently by older people, women and those living near urban gardens. With age comes wisdom and knowledge about cultivation techniques. A lot of it may be due to people wanting to care for their community and take pride in the landscape. This encourages rare species to flourish.

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