A Paper on the Relevance of Vegetation Stratification in Avifauna Enhancement: An Additional Concept in Planting Design for Urban Green Spaces

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Jose Dan Villa Juan
Pamela S. Paningbatan


Avifauna wildlife species have been displaced due to urban expansion. Urban green spaces should be designed in a manner that caters to avifauna habitat needs. This involves the application of botanical species in a stratified or layered structure from the floor layer composed of groundcover and shrubs all the way to tree species up to canopy and emergent layers. Avifauna or bird species have specific requirements that include habitat locations or niches within this layered vegetation structure. The paper explores the vertical component of planting hierarchy. Planting Design, as a component of the practice of Landscape Architecture, is to be reinforced with this concept on vegetation layering to ensure that the planting or softscape component provides a suitable habitat for various avifauna species to thrive in urban green spaces. Planting Design cannot simply be for aesthetic purposes in urban parks and open spaces. As the study is conducted in the Philippines, selected open spaces of the University of the Philippines (U.P.) in Diliman Quezon City and selected parks in Makati City, underwent simple observation techniques to understand local current conditions pertaining to present vegetation layers and the occurrences of avifauna species. Results showed that generally, the observed parks and open spaces exhibited some characteristics ideal for avifauna habitat however only two to three layers of stratification were seen which translated to low numbers of observed avifauna species. The parks in Makati City did show a variety of botanical species but were only limited to the floor or understory layers. The Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus) numbers was found to be relatively high but can be explained based on their high adaptability in urban areas. The study underscores the need to introduce more and varied botanical species for floor, understory to lower and upper canopy, and emergent layers. Plants must be chosen carefully vis-à-vis the need to enhance the population of birds within the parks and open spaces of the urban environment.


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Villa Juan, J. D., & Paningbatan, P. S. . (2021). A Paper on the Relevance of Vegetation Stratification in Avifauna Enhancement: An Additional Concept in Planting Design for Urban Green Spaces. Landscape Architecture Journal, 3(1), 89–104. Retrieved from https://so01.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/LAJ/article/view/249609


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