Any individual residential garden most likely will not be sufficient in providing viable habitat for populations of the native animal species in urban areas such as birds, butterflies, and squirrel. However, a group of gardens could make a ‘patch’ that could serve sufficiently as habitat of these urban animals. Landscape ecology framework can be employed for such purposes. Management of public and private gardens at multiple spatial scales is necessary to maximize the potential of urban environments for biodiversity conservation.
Individual decision-making creates heterogeneity, which has some benefits in that it may contribute to high biodiversity, however, most likely with low density. Collective decision can only be generated through a social process, either formally or informally-organized. Social drivers are key for harnessing gardens for conservation. In order to make it works, integration of biological and social disciplines should be strengthened. Collaboration between ecologists, social scientists, urban planners and gardeners/urban residents has to be encouraged.
Slides for this issue can be seen and downloaded here: Landscape Ecology 05