Ecosystems close to conurbations

Urban-industrial ecosystems
The Saar near Saarbrücken-Güdingen. In the foreground a bridge over the Saar, in the background an industrial building with a high chimney.
Photo: UPB-Projektgruppe Trier

Ecosystems close to conurbations, or urban-industrial ecosystems, are areas of human activity where natural factors are in part significantly modified or annulled and, especially in built-up areas, only function in very fragmented ways.

This lends all the more significance to their interrelationship with non-urban ecosystems, e.g. by means of substance and energy input from outside and discharge of products of decomposition which have no function in the towns. This is not only important for their own viability, but also in terms of the influence they exert on the surrounding countryside.

Industrial towns in particular generate a whole range of unnatural substances which affect local human, animal and plant populations, and which at the same time are the principal source of emissions for non-urban ecosystems.

For the German Environmental Specimen Bank the following sampling areas were classified as

The following sampling areas were chosen to represent ecosystems close to conurbations.

Sampling area