What evidence exists on the possible effects of urban forms on terrestrial biodiversity in western cities? A systematic map protocol


As urban areas expand, scientists now agree that the city is an important space for biodiversity conservation. Yet, still relatively little is known about how urban forms could have a differential impact on terrestrial species and ecosystems. If some reviews have been conducted to examine the link between biodiversity and urban characteristics at an infra-city scale, none have explored the relationship between urban organization and biodiversity and tried to assess the capacity of various urban forms to maintain and possibly favour flora and fauna in the city. The resulting map will present the state of knowledge regarding possible relationships between urban forms and its features on the establishment and settlement of terrestrial and temperate biodiversity at infra-city scale in western cities.


The systematic map will follow the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE) Guidelines. We will collect the relevant peer-reviewed and grey literature in French and English language. The scientific literature will be retrieved with the use of a search string in two publication databases, one environmental and one social science database (Web Of Science Core Collection, and Cairn.info). We will also perform supplementary searches (search engines, call for literature, search for relevant reviews). All references will be screened for relevance using a three-stage process, according to a predefined set of eligibility criteria. Our study will concentrate on urban areas at the infra-city scale in cities of the temperate biogeographical zone. The subject population will include terrestrial species and ecosystems, except for archaea and bacteria. The exposure will consider all types of urban forms described by any urban descriptors or measures including heterogeneity, fragmentation, housing density, organisation of urban matrix, urban fabric) and all types of urban features (e.g. size, age of the buildings, materials, urban artefacts). All relevant outcomes will be considered (e.g. species richness, abundance, behaviour). We will provide an open-access database of the studies included in the map. Our results will also be presented narratively, together with tables and graphs summarising the key information coded from the retained articles (e.g. study characteristics, types and areas of research that has been undertaken, types of exposure, population concerned, etc.).


Urban biodiversity, Infra-city scale, Ecological connectivity, Density

In progress