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K-State Today

September 7, 2021

Wildlife and outdoor management professor co-authors new study on how wealth, urbanization affect mammal diversity

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Adam Ahlers, associate professor of wildlife and outdoor management in the horticulture and natural resources department, is co-author of a newly published study in Global Change Biology that finds patterns of income and urbanization affect mammal diversity in urban areas.

Urban ecologists have proposed that income and biodiversity may be related, such that a so-called "luxury effect" may lead to more biodiversity in landscaped, affluent suburban neighborhoods. The new study suggests that while there is an association between income and diversity of medium to large mammals, another factor is stronger: "urban intensity," or the degree to which wildlands have been converted to densely-populated, paved-over grey cities.

Lead authors of the study are from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Ahlers and fellow co-authors include researchers from across the nation, including Arizona, California, Missouri, Mississippi, Texas and Utah, as well as Canada. Ahlers, along with several other K-State researchers, has published several articles in the last few years based on data collected at K-State that contributed to the newest study.

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