Thursday, September 4, 2008

Found Abstract: Urban Biodiversity


Tiny pockets of wilderness spring up even on this busy Seattle sidewalk. How many different species could I find in this photo if I had the knowledge and desire? I'm sure that it would be a sufficiently high number to surprise the average pedestrian, who walks over this patch without looking down. In fact, is there any good data for urban biodiversity? My meager search skills turned up only a smattering of material, none of which was particularly insightful.

I took this picture after photographing graffiti removal abstracts. There was an organic similarity that appealed to me-- the erosion of manmade order and the accidental beauty of overlapping shapes.

It's there if you look for it.

Photo: Michael McDevitt 2008

4 comments:

Thisbe said...

I did a little urban biodiversity sampling a few weeks ago; we found a surprising number of species in relatively small sample quadrats. Perhaps I will dig out the data for you; it includes not only a count, but statistical analysis of the data. And one surprising study I just found on the internet said that average Northeastern cities have over four thousand species. I think that was plants.

Michael said...

I thought you might take that bait ;)
I'd love to know what you turn up...

Hungry Hyaena said...

As would I...and nice snap, Michael.

marion berry said...

i wonder how much urban biodiversity is exotic/introduced vs native? and what the impacts of that are...

i also want to know when we get to see the graffiti removal photos... sounds cool.