Less than a decade ago, the number of urban dwellers globally surpassed that of rural dwellers for the first time in history and the gap will continue to grow over the next half century. This social and economic transition is the most visible manifestation of the Anthropocene and has multiple implications for human well‐being, human perceptions of and interaction with nature, how urban and rural landscapes are used and the supply and value of ecosystem services and disservices.
The social, economic and ecological changes associated with or resulting from urbanisation directly or indirectly are not restricted to urban landscapes, but are also manifest in the peri‐urban (e.g. via urban sprawl or waste disposal) and rural landscapes (e.g. supply of food to cities; pollution and invasive species in cities spilling over to rural areas) both close to and afar from urban centres. Given the typically higher intensity of resource use and ecological footprints of urban areas, the implications of increasing urbanisation for conservation of populations, species, landscapes and processes are profound, especially as urban contexts and processes are increasingly implicated in eco‐evolutionary change (Alberti, Marzluff & Hunt 2017). The effects and challenges are likely to be spatially and temporally variable in different regions and depend on the scale of measurement. Moreover, the perceptions of biodiversity of future urban generations, and hence conservation of biodiversity, are likely to be immutably altered unless urban planners, conservationists and policy makers are able to envision the future and adopt appropriate strategies sooner rather than later. Hence this call for papers for a themed issue in Environmental Conservation.
The journal will consider papers from different continents, biomes, landscapes, contexts with a range of urbanisation rates, and from rural, peri‐urban and urban settings. Papers from social, economic and ecological disciplines and interdisciplinary studies are welcome provided the relevance to the theme is clear. Potential sub‐themes include:
- How conservation practice, processes and challenges within cities differ from those elsewhere
- Urban encroachment and spillover into designated protected areas
- Analysis of community structure and population persistence in urban settings
- Urban demand for ecosystem services as a driver of land‐use and land‐cover change
- Location and nature of urban green infrastructure and the conservation services it provides
- Conservation needs and implications of cities as novel ecosystems
- Perceptions or knowledge of biodiversity and its uses by urban dwellers
- Implications of/addressing the extinction of experience by urban dwellers
Interested researchers and policy analysts from anywhere on the globe are invited to submit original papers to Environmental Conservation online. Standard research papers (max 6,000 words including references but not title page) are of particular interest but Reviews (max 8,000 words), Reports (max 4,000 words) and Comments (max 2,000 words) may also be submitted provided they conform to the Instructions for Contributors. All papers will be subject to the usual rigorous, peer-review and editing practices.
Theme Lead Editor: Professor Charlie Shackleton, Rhodes University, South Africa firstname.lastname@example.org
Important Dates: Manuscript submission deadline: 1 October 2017, provisional publication date of themed issue: September 2018.