2315ENV Urban Ecology Essay

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2315ENV Urban Ecology Essay

2315ENV Urban Ecology and Biodiversity 

Assessment Item 2: Essay on a topical issue in urban ecology.

Weight:           30%

Length:           3000

Select a topic from the list below or discuss an alternative with your lecturer. You will need to undertake research into the topic and provide an overview, explore the issues and ecological features, and make management recommendations. The report will be assessed on your understanding of the topic, capacity to communicate clearly and the quality of the presentation.

 The main criteria that this essay will be evaluated are: (a) the depth of published research that you use (you will have to search for journal articles; Wikipedia and similar general sources alone and not sufficient); (b) how well you synthesis the material, and (c) your own ideas. You are encouraged to think big and be reactive!

 Be sure to look at the Rubric for this item.

Some suggested Research Topics

  1. How does biogeography influence the biodiversity of urban environments?
  2. What are some key characteristics of successful urban species?
  3. What is Green Infrastructure and how is it being applied in urban design?
  4. What is the Urban Heat Island and what are some consequences?
  5. Cities are [hot/hard/noisy/polluted/other]. Select one of these features and describe implications for urban biodiversity giving examples. 2315ENV Urban Ecology Essay
  6. Using either Greater Flagstone or Christchurch (or another plan), describe the challenges and solutions being planned to address these problems.
  7. “The biodiversity of urban areas is homogenized”. Critically discuss.
  8. “Urban biodiversity is species poor and abundance rich”. Critically discuss.
  9. Select at least three components of the urban landscape and explore how these provide habitat for urban wildlife and how this could be improved.
  10. How does vegetation structure change along the urban gradient?
  11. Using published examples, explain the process of habituation within an urban environment.
  12. Roads are barriers to the movement of animals. How can this be overcome?
  13. Urban gradient or urban matrix? Explore how these concepts have been used by urban ecologists.
  14. “Improve habitats for birds by planting nectar-rich plants!” Explore this idea critically using examples.
  15. Explain why urban biodiversity is more than birds and mammals?
  16. Ecology in the city, ecology of the city. Explore these two concepts.
  17. Waterbodies in urban areas are essential for biodiversity. Describe the threats and solutions to these habitats.
  18. Develop a design for a new suburb in South East Queensland that enhances urban biodiversity.
  19. Why are introduced species so common in urban areas?
  20. “Evolution can happen fast in cities”. Explain how using published examples.


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