Multi-Scale Assessment of Urban Gardens as Constructed Habitats for Biodiversity Conservation in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Deborah A. Middleton

Biodiversity in arid urban environments depends upon habitat formation that balances both bioclimatic and biophysical environment needs. There is the potential for urban gardens to establish symbiotic ecosystem services from microhabitat formation that collectively form an assemblage of ecological patches to connect a diverse range of flora and fauna, and establish community driven nursery and seed collection initiatives. This study of urban garden habitats situated within a new urban district of Jeddah Saudi. The analysis concentrates on the ability of garden spatial formations to construct a heterogeneous spatial morphology of sub-patch within the larger urban landscape patch.  Patch and subpatch formations are examined based on the criteria of (I) assemblage of the spatial habitat (characterized by shape and spatial organization); (II) integration of spatial, functional and vegetation plantation patterns; (III) connectivity. Findings reveal that garden layout is structured by the integration and layering of plant types to generate cool understory habitat with seedling establishment, and water conservation. Designed layout of the garden as a spatial pattern is augmented with a range of microclimate mediators to dim solar exposure within the plantation habitat. A strong heterogeneity in plant formations and combinations is seen to dominant the garden formations.

Keywords

Arid Urban Garden; Spatial Morphology; Heterogeneous; Constructed Habitat; Biodiversity; Spatial Scales

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