Urban Ecosytems (Urban Niches)

Refers to AQA A2 Geography, Ecosystems: Change and Challenge Unit

Urban Ecosytems and Urban Niches

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  • Urban Ecosystems
    • Urban Niches
      • Within an ecosystem all organisms occupy a 'niche' - The place where they live, and how they interact with other species.
      • The Woodlouse
        • HABITAT: Under Logs and Stones or under cool, damp, leaf-litter
        • ROLE: To break leaf litter etc. into small pieces and speed up decomposition, also a food source to toads/ shrews
      • Types of Niche
        • Rubble/ Rubbish: Weeds and Insects
        • Bottoms of Walls: Weeds, Insects and Mosses
        • Bare Tarmac: If cracked, seeds blow in.
    • What influences the types of plants that can initially colonise area?
      • Slope
        • Horizontal/ gentle slopes accumulate debries - creates soil.
      • Moisture Availibility
        • On horizontal surfaces rainwater accumulates (faster runoff on steep slopes)
      • Aspect
        • South Facing Slopes are Warmer and Drier
      • Porosity
        • Surfaces that hold water are colonised more quickly.
      • Surface Roughness
        • Allows plant to get a hold. Glass and metal too smooth for most plants.
      • Pollution Levels
        • Depends on Previous Land Use. Toxic substances may contaminate land.
    • Urban heat-island effect
      • The city is generally a few degrees warmer than the countryside, so influences what can grow.
    • Opportunism
      • Where organisms take the opportunity to colonise a niche in a new environment.
        • Urban Niches
          • Within an ecosystem all organisms occupy a 'niche' - The place where they live, and how they interact with other species.
          • The Woodlouse
            • HABITAT: Under Logs and Stones or under cool, damp, leaf-litter
            • ROLE: To break leaf litter etc. into small pieces and speed up decomposition, also a food source to toads/ shrews
          • Types of Niche
            • Rubble/ Rubbish: Weeds and Insects
            • Bottoms of Walls: Weeds, Insects and Mosses
            • Bare Tarmac: If cracked, seeds blow in.
    • Invasive Species
      • Japanese Knotweed (see Japanese Knotweed and London Plane Tree Mindmap)

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