Habitat complexity influences fine scale hydrological processes and the incidence of stormwater runoff in managed urban ecosystems.
Urban ecosystems have traditionally been considered to be pervious features of our cities. Their hydrological properties have largely been investigated at the landscape scale and in comparison with other urban land use types. However, hydrological properties can vary at smaller scales depending upon changes in soil, surface litter and vegetation components. Management practices can directly and indirectly affect each of these components and the overall habitat complexity, ultimately affecting hydrological processes. This study aims to investigate the influence that habitat components and habitat complexity have upon key hydrological processes and the implications for urban habitat management.
- Low-complexity urban habitats had slower rates of soil water infiltration.
- The presence of soil macropores, rather than bulk density, drives water infiltration.
- Complex habitats intercept and hold more stormwater than simple habitats.
- Management can increase habitat complexity and associated hydrological benefits.
Journal of Environmental Management Volume 159, 15 August 2015, Pages 1–10.