Plant Richness and Composition of Urban Domestic Gardens are Strongly Related to Socioeconomic and Demographic Characteristics of their Owners in Touristic Residential Areas of the Costa Brava (SPAIN)
1 University of Girona
in Conservation Biogeography
Domestic gardens collectively represent large areas within cities and play a relevant role in supporting ecosystem functioning and urban biodiversity. We recorded the plant species composition, garden cover types, and demographic, socioeconomic and cultural characteristics of 258 households in urban areas along the Costa Brava (Spain). The distribution of the 635 species in these gardens were the input to a cluster analysis, in which wild gardens, vegetable gardens, lawn gardens and ornamental gardens formed strong floristic groups. A Non-metric Multidimensional Scaling (NMDS) analysis showed that the main floristic gradients in the garden vegetation were correlated to the occupancy rate of the house, birthplace, income and the percentage of people not working in the household. Results from a stepwise multiple regression showed all plant biodiversity parameters (Shannon diversity index, overall plant richness and exotic and native plant richness) strongly related to garden area, the occupancy rate of the house and other different socio-economic and cognitive characteristics of household members.
Keywords: Gardens, plant composition, exotic species, urban sprawl, Costa Brava.