Botanical Gardens Are Local Hotspots for Urban Butterflies in Arid Environments
AffiliationSchool of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona
Arizona Institute for Resilient Environments and Societies, University of Arizona
BIO5 Institute, University of Arizona
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona
Research Engagement, University of Arizona Libraries
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CitationPrudic, K. L., Cruz, T. M. P., Winzer, J. I. B., Oliver, J. C., Melkonoff, N. A., Verbais, H., & Hogan, A. (2022). Botanical Gardens Are Local Hotspots for Urban Butterflies in Arid Environments. Insects, 13(10).
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AbstractUrban areas are proliferating quickly around the globe often with detrimental impacts on biodiversity. Insects, especially pollinators, have also seen record declines in recent decades, sometimes associated with land use change such as urbanization, but also associated with climate changes such as increased aridity. How these various factors play out in attracting and sustaining species richness in a complex urban matrix is poorly understood. Urban botanical gardens may serve as important refugia for insect pollinators in arid regions due to reliable water availability for both plants and insects. Here, we use community science data on butterfly observations to evaluate if botanical gardens can be hotspots of biodiversity in the arid urban landscapes of the southwest US. We found butterfly richness and diversity were proportionally overrepresented in botanical gardens compared with the urban landscape they were embedded in. We conclude that biodiversity-friendly botanical gardens in urban arid regions can make a valuable contribution to pollinator conservation, in particular, in face of the continued aridification due to climate change. © 2022 by the authors.
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Copyright © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).