Ecosystem Services Science

SUN lab experts estimated pets’ significance within ecosystem services classification

Ongoing urbanization has led to a significant increase in the number of pets and has altered the relationships between pets and owners from primarily utilitarian to cultural. Today existing classifications of ecosystem services and nature’s contributions to people explicitly consider only the ES provided by livestock and wild animals. Despite this, scientists from Smart Urban Nature laboratory tried to give it a fresh view and attempted to translate perceived benefits and costs from owning dogs or cats in a megapolis into ecosystem services and disservices frameworks considering such pets as natural biotic elements of a megapolis and thus, essential parts of urban ecosystems.

Climate Ecosystem Services Ecosystems Green Infrastructure

SUN lab experts made a plan on development of green infrastructure of Cherepovets

The laboratory Smart Urban Nature worked as a consultant to the “Yauza project” bureau, which developed a project for the spatial development of the city of Cherepovets striving for a reasonable balance between the purpose of the object, the needs of people and the environment. Thus, the main goal in developing the concept was to bring nature to the city to create a comfortable living environment. With the proximity of major roads, the impact of the urban heat island, and the increasing number of extreme weather events associated with climate change, the regulatory functions of green infrastructure seem to be the most significant to assess and implement in the city development.

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Ecosystem Services Soils

The Soil Basis of Smart and Sustainable Cities: How Scientists from SUN Lab expand knowledge about the functions of urban soils

It is a well-known fact that soil is the main component of a terrestrial ecosystem, the balanced functioning of which largely depends on the soil microbiome. Today, in the urban environment, there is an unprecedented anthropogenic impact on the soil, its microbiome and the ecosystem as a whole, which can lead to disruption of their functioning. Researchers from all countries are trying to develop knowledge about the peculiarities of the functioning of the soil microbiome in urban conditions, in particular by studying its various microbial indicators. However, there is no answer to the question of which microbial indicators can most informatively reflect the functioning of urban soils and be useful in planning and improving urban areas.

Collaboration Ecosystems Education Events Green Infrastructure Soils

Studying urban soils and green infrastructure: the fifth 3MUGIS-2021 summer school took place online

From July 26 to August 2, 2021, the 5th International Summer School 3MUGIS (Monitoring, Modeling and Managing Urban Soils and Green Infrastructure) was held within the Department of Landscape Design and Sustainable Ecosystems Smart Urban Nature Laboratory of the RUDN University. The school was organized with the support of the Russian Science Foundation and under the umbrella of the International Union of Soil Scientists, RUDN University and the Institute of Urban Soils of New York in collaboration with universities, scientific organizations and research groups from around the world. The partners of the school were Brooklyn College (USA), Kola Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Southern Federal University and many others. Importantly, all the organizers and partners of 3MUGIS are united by the desire to exchange knowledge, ideas and experience at the international level.

Collaboration Ecosystem Services Ecosystems

SUN Lab researchers participated in the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) Conference

After the 1st ESP Europe in Antwerp (2016) and the 2nd in San Sebastian (2018), the upcoming Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference took place in Tartu (Estonia) from 7-10 June 2021. The conference turned out to be a special event in a hybrid format – both online and offline participation – which gathered near 460 participants from 51 countries from all parts of the world.

The Ecosystem Services Partnership aims to enhance communication, coordination and cooperation, and to build a strong network of individuals and organizations by connecting over 3000 ecosystem services scientists, policy makers and practitioners who work together in more than 40 Working Groups and a growing number of National Networks on all continents. Among hundreds of participants Anastasia Konstantinova and Viktor Matasov are two researchers who represented Smart Urban Nature lab in the event.

Collaboration Science Soils

SUN researchers examined how urban development has increased soil carbon stocks

The team of scientists of SUN Lab (RUDN University) in collaboration with scholars from Moscow State University and Southern Federal University got their article “Projecting the urbanization effect on soil organic carbon stocks in polar and steppe areas of European Russia by remote sensing” published in Geoderma, the global journal of Soil Science. The research was supported by a grant from the Russian Science Foundation (RSF).

With the help of satellite images and archival data, our scholars have established the mechanisms of the impact of urbanization on the state of soils in the forest-tundra and steppe zones. Previously, it was commonly believed that covering the soil with asphalt, concrete and other impermeable materials leads to an overall decrease in carbon stocks in soils of urban areas. But it was revealed that in Murmansk and Rostov-on-Don, the total carbon stocks in a meter layer of the earth have significantly increased due to the development of urban green infrastructure.

Collaboration Ecosystem Services Green Infrastructure Science

SUN Lab leaders were presented at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

On June 2-5, 2021, St. Petersburg hosted the XXIV St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-21), a leading global platform for communication between business representatives and discussion of key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets and the world in general. The forum, which brings together tens of thousands of participants from more than 140 countries, is traditionally focused on issues of the global and Russian economy, social matters and technology development.

Collaboration Science Soils

SUN Lab research team got a new scientific article released

In May 2021, SUN lab team’s scientific merit fund was replenished with an article “Gypsum soil amendment in metal-polluted soils — an added environmental hazard” which was published in the Chemosphere journal (SJR Q1). The authors team was represented by the Head of Agrarian Technological Institute (RUDN University) E.A. Dovletyarova, associate researchers Brykova R.A. and Losev A.I., postgraduate student Dubrovina T.A. in collaboration with Neaman A.A., professor of Institute of Agrarian Engineering at Southern University of Chili. 

Ecosystem Services Ecosystems Green Infrastructure Science

SUN Lab researchers examined how “Islands of nature” save mental and physical health of city-dwellers during pandemic

International research team including SUN Lab’ scientists interviewed citizens of Moscow (Russia) and Perth (Australia) to find out what role urban green spaces played for them during the COVID-19 pandemic. It turned out that the vast majority of respondents in both cities considered contact with nature to be extremely important for mental well-being, and many of them went for walks in their free time, despite the restrictions. The results of the research, supported by a grant from the Russian Science Foundation, are published in the journal Sustainability.

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