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Direct and indirect effects of urban gardening on aboveground and belowground diversity influencing soil multifunctionality

Tresch, Simon; Frey, David; Le Bayon, Renée-Claire; Mäder, Paul; Stehle, Bernhard; Fliessbach, Andreas and Moretti, Marco (2019) Direct and indirect effects of urban gardening on aboveground and belowground diversity influencing soil multifunctionality. Scientific Reports, 9, p. 9769.

[thumbnail of tresch-etal-2019-ScientificReports-9-article-9769.pdf] PDF - English

Document available online at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-46024-y


Urban gardens are popular green spaces that have the potential to provide essential ecosystem services, support human well-being, and at the same time foster biodiversity in cities. We investigated the impact of gardening activities on five soil functions and the relationship between plant (600 spp.) and soil fauna (earthworms: 18 spp., springtails: 39 spp.) in 85 urban gardens (170 sites) across the city of Zurich (Switzerland). Our results suggest that high plant diversity in gardens had a positive effect on soil fauna and soil multifunctionality, and that garden management intensity decreased plant diversity. Indices of biological activity in soil, such as organic and microbial carbon and bacterial abundance, showed a direct positive effect on soil multifunctionality. Soil moisture and disturbance, driven by watering and tilling, were the driving forces structuring plant and soil fauna communities. Plant indicator values proved useful to assess soil fauna community structure, even in anthropogenic plant assemblages. We conclude that to enhance soil functions, gardeners should increase plant diversity, and lower management intensity. Soil protective management practices, such as applying compost, mulch or avoiding soil tilling, should be included in urban green space planning to improve urban biodiversity and nature’s contribution to people.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:BetterGardens, Urban gardens, green spcaces, urban areas, soil quality, biodiversity, social value
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality
Farming Systems > Social aspects
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Environmental aspects > Landscape and recreation
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil
Switzerland > Other organizations
Related Links:https://www.fibl.org/en/themes/urban-areas.html, https://www.fibl.org/en/projectdatabase/projectitem/project/955.html, https://www.bettergardens.ch/en/home.html
Deposited By: Mäder, Paul
ID Code:36324
Deposited On:07 Aug 2019 08:57
Last Modified:19 May 2021 14:37
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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