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Carly Ziter, PhD

Assistant Professor, Biology

Carly Ziter, PhD

Teaching activities

BIOL 226: Ecology & Biodiversity
BIOL 398: Ecology of Urban Environments

Research activities

More than half the world’s people (and 80% of Canadians) live in cities, and conversion to urban land is among the most irreversible and fastest growing forms of global change. This era of unprecedented urban growth has changed ecosystem structure, function, and biodiversity, and consequently the ecosystem services - or natural benefits - that our health and wellbeing depend on. Our research vision is to conduct solutions oriented science to enhance biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service provision in urban and urbanizing landscapes. 

Our recent work has used fieldwork, advanced sensor data, and synthesis approaches to ask how landscape structure, land-use history, and biodiversity interact to impact multiple ecosystem services. While research in the lab is strongly grounded in landscape and ecosystem ecology, we recognize that addressing complex ecological problems is inherently interdisciplinary. We strive to develop research partnerships both within and outside the university, and value community engagement as integral to our work.

Select Publications

Full list of publications:

Ziter CD, Pedersen EJ, Kucharik CJ, Turner MG. 2019. Scale-dependent interactions between tree canopy cover and impervious surfaces reduce daytime urban heat during summer. PNAS (In press)

Dyson K, Ziter C, Patterson MS, Fuentes TL. 2019. Conducting urban ecology research on private property: advice for new urban ecologists. Journal of Urban Ecology (In press)

Ziter C, Turner MG. 2018. Current and historical land use influence soil-based ecosystem services in an urban landscape. Ecological Applications 28: 643-654

Ziter C, Graves RA, Turner MG. 2017. How do land-use legacies affect ecosystem services in United States cultural landscapes? Landscape Ecology 32: 2205-2218

Rose KC, Graves RA, Hansen WD, Harvey BJ, Qiu J, Wood SA, Ziter C, Turner MG. 2017. Historical foundations and future directions in macrosystems ecology. Ecology Letters 20: 147-157

Ziter C. 2016. The biodiversity-ecosystem service relationship in urban areas: A quantitative review. Oikos 125: 761-768 

Mitchell MGE et al. (22 authors including C Ziter). 2015. Montérégie Connection: linking landscapes, biodiversity, and ecosystem services to improve decision making. Ecology & Society 20(4):15

Ziter, C., Bennett, E., and Gonzalez, A. 2014. Temperate forest fragments maintain aboveground carbon stocks out to the forest edge despite changes in community composition. Oecologia 176: 893-902 

Ziter, C., Bennett, E., and Gonzalez, A. 2013. Functional diversity and management mediate aboveground carbon stocks in small forest fragments. Ecosphere 4: art85. 

Liss K, Mitchell MGE et al. (13 authors including C Ziter). 2013. Variability in ecosystem service measurement: a case study of pollination service studies. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 11:414–422

Citizen Science

NDG Community Tree Inventory

Urban trees are a key contributor to local biodiversity and provide many valuable benefits to our communities, like reducing hot summer temperatures, providing recreational spaces and improving air quality. We generally have a strong understanding of the composition of trees on public land located in parks and along streets, but have very little information on trees on private land. Our new community science project provides a unique opportunity for residents to learn more about trees in their own backyards, while helping to improve our overall understanding of Montreal’s urban forest!

To participate as an NDG resident, or for more information:

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