Meeting Abstract

S10-3  Sunday, Jan. 7 08:30 - 09:00  Are Urban Species City Specialists or Habitat Generalists? LEFEBVRE, Louis*; DUCATEZ, Simon; SAYOL, Ferran; SOL, Daniel; McGill University, Montreal; University of Sydney, Sydney; Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona; Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona louis.lefebvre@mcgill.ca http://biology.mcgill.ca/faculty/lefebvre/index.html

In an increasingly urbanized world, understanding how animals respond to artificial habitats has become a priority of conservation strategies. Here, we use the IUCN database on exploitation of artificial habitats for 28 688 species of terrestrial vertebrates to plot the phylogenetic distribution of urbanization tolerance. We then ask if urban dwellers are city specialists or instead generalists that thrive in all six types of artificial habitats listed in the IUCN database. We show that, in birds and mammals, urban exploiters tend to be habitat generalists and that the species that use cities frequently use rural gardens, but to a lesser extent other artificial habitats like arable land, pastureland, plantations or heavily degraded former forests. In reptiles and amphibians, however, city dwelling species tend to be those that also exploit arable land and pastures rather than rural gardens. Our results highlight the fact that responses of different taxonomic groups to artificial habitats might not necessarily be the same and that there might be different routes to becoming a city dweller.