The Biodiversity Seminar Series (BD-Seminars) are organized by the WSL Biodiversity Center. Every two weeks, the aim is to host a seminar speaker that presents research or outreach on topics relevant to the biodiversity community at WSL. The seminars are public and are usually broadcasted online.
Urban greenspace has recently gained increasing attention because of its relevance for human welfare, wildlife protection and climate-change mitigation. As biodiversity is decreasing worldwide and ongoing urbanization is causing a degradation and loss of urban greenspace, it is necessary to develop concepts for urban ecological restoration and rehabilitation. These measures should aim at improving ecosystem functioning, the provisioning of ecosystem services and native biodiversity. Due to the ecological novelty of many urban ecosystems and the restricted space in cities, it is difficult to define targets and to assess restoration success. This makes urban ecosystems a special case for ecological restoration. Urban restoration approaches have to particularly consider citizen’s needs and their attitude concerning recreation and the aesthetic appearance of the respective sites. In this talk, I will present recent work on urban ecosystems, especially grassland-like habitats, and discuss options for their ecological restoration. A study interviewing European citizens across 19 cities asking for their attitude towards near-natural greenspace managements revealed that people might strongly support urban biodiversity. However, this needs to happen within the frames of a generally tidy appearance of the greenspace. The results of our work point at explicit measures that can be taken to improve urban biodiversity and increase the public acceptance of nature conservation within cities.