The challenge of managing disturbance regimes, terrestrial communities and rare species in a suburbanizing region: The northeastern US coastal sandplain

TitleThe challenge of managing disturbance regimes, terrestrial communities and rare species in a suburbanizing region: The northeastern US coastal sandplain
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsNeill, Christopher
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume136
Pagination1 - 3
Date Published4/2007
ISSN00063207
Keywordscoastal plain, disturbance, management, restoration, sandplain, urbanization
Abstract

The rapid growth of urban and suburban settings is an important ecological phenomenon that presents enormous challenges for the conservation of natural ecosystems, ecological processes, and biological diversity. Urbanizing landscapes now form the backdrop for modern conservation management over increasingly large areas of the earth. This concern has become particularly relevant along coastlines, where land within 50km of the ocean is occupied by rapidly-growing populations that already account for nearly 50% of the world’s people (Burke et al., 2001). Many of these same coastal regions also contain a high diversity of both natural communities and species that are important conservation concerns (Schwartz et al., 2006; Stein et al., 2000). Impacts to these communities and species may occur long before direct land conversion or below the urban or suburban levels that we typically associate with immediate threats to biodiversity (McKinney, 2006). This is particularly true where development patterns modify disturbance regimes and lead to subtle short-term, but major long-term changes in the structure of natural communities and their ability to support rare species.

DOI10.1016/j.biocon.2006.10.042