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Socio-ecological Trade-offs in Urban Garden Management and Ecosystem Services

January 22, 2021 @ 4:00 am 5:30 am

Ecosystem services, such as pollination, pest control, climate regulation, and food production are essential for human well-being, especially in urban areas where ~ 60% of the world’s population will live by 2030. While local and landscape-level habitat management practices are assumed to drive biodiversity and ecosystem services within urban areas, few have quantified the relationships between ecosystem services or whether habitat management plays a mechanistic role in mediating trade-offs or synergies among ecosystem services. Moreover, garden ecosystems are uniquely shaped by the people who grow them. Urban community gardens bring together multiple gardeners with different preferences for managing their individual plots. These preferences are informed by a host of social processes, including previous gardening experiences, cultural background, education, and income level. While agroecological principles generally recommend building food systems that integrate biodiversity, urban gardeners ultimately determine garden design. Stacy Philpott (ENVS, CASFS) and Azucena Lucatero (ENVS) will present two areas of their research related to gardeners, garden and landscape management and ecosystem services. First, they will present results from 5 years of data across 28 urban gardens in the California central coast that investigate the role of habitat management (at the garden and landscape scale) as a mechanism driving biodiversity, ecosystem services, and trade-offs and synergies among ecosystem services. Second, they’ll discuss ongoing work aimed at understanding the social dimensions of garden management that may help us better contend with trade-offs in benefits to gardeners and benefits to biodiversity.

Stacy Philpott and Azucena Lucatero will be sharing some of their work on: “Socio-ecological trade-offs in urban garden management and ecosystem services” at the next Urban Environment & Justice Collaborative meeting.

Please email the Institute for Social Transformation at transform@ucsc.edu for the Zoom link.

Stacy Philpott

Professor of Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz. Studies agroecology and insect biology.

Azucena Lucatero

PhD candidate, Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz. Studies insect ecology, habitat complexity, meta-communities and social justice.  


January 22, 2021
4:00 am – 5:30 am
Event Category:


Urban Environment & Justice Collaborative