Urban Rewilding for Urban Ecological Network Connection: An Example of Ecosystem Restoration Project in Shanghai Urban Biodiversity Education Base

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Taoran Guo, Bingqin Shan

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Urban rewilding is to restore the original structure and function of biological communities in fragmented urban habitats, and enable the stability and ecological succession of native communities with low human intervention. In the context of urban surroundings, it includes urban biodiversity restoration for certain sites through two paths: one is the natural succession from urban wastelands to wildlife habitats, i.e. the passive urban rewilding; and the other is the active urban rewilding guided by human intervention, meaning that humans conduct systematic ecosystem restoration based on the natural laws of ecological succession. Here, we discuss the design principles and technical methodologies in active urban rewilding by the example of Shanghai Urban Biodiversity Education Base project. Aiming to restore urban biodiversity and enrich the technical and theoretical research of urban wilderness construction and Nature-based Solutions (NbS), this project has conducted habitat division, native species introduction, natural community construction, ecological benefit assessment, etc. In a year and a half, 260 native plant species, 255 insect species, 7 amphibian and reptile species, 71 bird species, and 6 mammal species were recorded within the 1.7 ha. project site, showing higher biodiversity and density of animal populations than unrestored artificial forests surrounding. Along with the spontaneous progressive succession of the plant communities, the project has achieved good results. The technical approaches in the project can be broadly applied in design and construction of country parks, wildlife habitats, ecological corridors / networks, and environmental education bases. Further wildlife habitat research is conducted in the restoration site, and will be used for the identification and connection of urban ecological networks.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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