Gardens as biodiversity refuge

A study revealed that in DIGGING, an estate of hardly 160 m2 vegetated with 295 native species lodges more than 42 species of birds and 100 of Lepid³pteros. In this city with low proportion of green and wild areas, how important it is to use native plants in parks deprived public and?

The urbanization is one of the most abrupt modifications in the Earth use. In the Independent City of Buenos Aires (DIGGING), where originally there were natural pastures, you will destroy and coastal forests, today there is cement and asphalt. This affects the diversity of birds, plants and insects. For this reason, the Faculty of Agronomy of UBA (FAUBA) studied the case of the Educative Garden of Plants Nativas and Refugio de Biodiversidad €˜Solnaturi€™, whom 20 years after to have been vegetated with 295 native species the visit of 42 species of birds and 100 of Lepid³pteros attracts. The study emphasizes the importance of using native plants in green spaces public and deprived gardens, which would allow to partly maintain the biodiversity of the original ecosystem that the city replaced and that little is represented in the present National System of Protected areas.

€œThis semi-wild space was born when seeing that the city grew without a suitable planning and with low proportion of wild areas. Today, their 160 mscontain 295 native vegetal species€, shelp Claudia Furman, withdrawn of the Specialization in Environmental Management in Agro-alimentary Systems of the School for Graduated as the FAUBA. €œIn this study of case we analyzed how a small surface that owns native plants mainly can work as refuge of biodiversity and biological runner between diverse semi-wild spaces in the city€.

As part of the explanation that she gave him to the popularizing science site On the Earth, Furman clarified the difference between green and semi-wild spaces. €œWhile first they support little biodiversity and they undergo great human intervention, the seconds minimumly are taken part and can lodge a higher diversity€. In this sense, it added: €œAlthough public the green surface in the DIGGING realises a contribution limited the original biodiversity, fortunately €” and little to little native vegetal species in the places and parks are being gotten up€.

Solnaturi is a semi-wild space planned by Claudia Furman, who, in addition, served to him basic for its final work of specialization. In the conclusions of her study, she affirms that, before the impossibility to create new protected areas in Federal Capital, the private spaces represent an excellent opportunity to incorporate native plants. That would transform to the gardens in links of a chain able to connect green areas disconexas in the city.

Aves and Lepid³pteros

In his undertaking, Furman registered 42 species of birds, of which 40 were native. Of these, 16 were permanent inhabitants; 2, visitors of autumn/winter; 7, visitors of spring/summer; 13, occasional visitors and 4 were accidental.

 €œAmong them we found to the Fiof­o short tip (Elaenia parvirostris), to the Cortarramas (Phytotoma rutila), to the fluted Mosqueta (Myiophobus fasciatus), to the common Corbatita (Sphorophila caerulescens), to the great Blemish (major Podiceps) and to the Tachur­ Sietecolores (Tachuris rubrigastra). Many of these species are difficult to find in the city€, explained Claudia.

As far as the invertebrates, the work systematized the visit of the Lepid³pteros, that is to say, butterflies and moths. The specialist commented that until the moment 100 species pertaining to 17 families were registered. €œLike the birds, the Lepid³pteros have a very close relation with the flora. For that reason we thought that, given to its great sensitivity to the changes in the atmosphere, detected salary this amount of species was a very good signal€.

Ecosist©micos services

Furman affirmed that spaces as Solnaturi contributes to the well-being from the society when offering a very ample variety of functions. €œThe Educative Garden represents a biodiversity refuge, since it is the stable habitat of a lifted number of species. Even, every year it serves to him as site from stop to the migratory birds€.

Also, the areas with vegetal cover help to that the water infiltrates better in the ground, which help to mitigate the floods in the city. €œAsphalt and the cement are impermeable, and this increases the run-off. In the very intense precipitation events, the water exceeds the water-drainages, runs by the surface and gives rise to floods€.

Another service that honors the specialist is the moderation of the environmental high temperatures. €œWe got to measure a difference of 5

°C between our estate and the street. The dense vegetal cover diminishes of very remarkable way the high temperatures. Thanks to this effect we could reduce the amount of energy that we destined to refrigeration€.

Ecoregion little protected


The native plants that Claudia Furman incorporated to its undertaking belong to the Pampan ecoregion. With preoccupation, it indicated: €œWhen studying this ecoregion we could see that only 0.05% of their surface are including within the National System of Protected areas of the country. She is one of the transformed areas more of the country, as much by agriculture as by the great urbanizations€.

Finally, the investigator emphasized the conservation tasks that are carried out in their urban semi-wild space. €œBetween the present vegetal species in Solnaturi there are some with certain level of vulnerability. For example, it is possible to be mentioned the blue Iris (Cypella coelestis) and the Ombusillo (tetramera Phytolacca). I believe that this work represents a good contribution to think the urban biodiversity from another place€.

Article written by: Sebasti¡n M. Tamashiro €“ FAUBA SOURCE:  Pablo Roset

He presses and Spreading of CyT Faculty of Agronomy (GRAPE)