Journal article

Indigenous plants promote insect biodiversity in urban greenspaces

Luis Mata, Alan N Andersen, Alejandra Moran-Ordonez, Amy K Hahs, Anna Backstrom, Christopher D Ives, Daniel Bickel, David Duncan, Estibaliz Palma, Freya Thomas, Kate Cranney, Ken Walker, Ian Shears, Linda Semeraro, Mallik Malipatil, Melinda L Moir, Michaela Plein, Nick Porch, Peter A Vesk, Tessa R Smith Show all



The contribution of urban greenspaces to support biodiversity and provide benefits for people is increasingly recognized. However, ongoing management practices favor vegetation oversimplification, often limiting greenspaces to lawns and tree canopy rather than multi-layered vegetation that includes under- and midstorey, and the use of nonnative species. These practices hinder the potential of greenspaces to sustain indigenous biodiversity, particularly for taxa like insects that rely on plants for food and habitat. Yet, little is known about which plant species may maximize positive outcomes for taxonomically and functionally diverse insect communities in greenspaces. Additionally, while cit..

View full abstract


Awarded by Spanish Government

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land and waterways on which this research took place, the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung peoples of the eastern Kulin Nations. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present, and emerging. This study was funded by the City of Melbourne; thanks to Amy Rogers, Lingna Zhang, and other colleagues from the Urban Sustainability Branch for their support and enthusiasm. We would also like to acknowledge funding from RMIT University's Strategic Projects in Urban Research (SPUR) Fund, the National Environmental Science Programme-Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub (NESP-CAUL), and the Australian Research Council - Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). A. MoranOrdonez was funded by the Spanish Government (IJCI-2016-30349). Thanks to Adam Slipinski, Ascelin Gordon, David Heathcote, Dayanthi Nugegoda, Flickr community, Westgate Biodiversity: Bili Nursery & Landcare, Jeff Shimeta, Laura Stark, Marc Kery, Michelle Freeman, Rolf Oberprieler, Royal Park managers, Shannon Fernand's, Timothy New, and Xavier Francoeur for their invaluable contributions to the study.