The Global South has suffered an accelerated population and urban growth. This has created multiple impacts at the regional level such as erosion, soil degradation and biodiversity loss, as well as temperature increase in the cities causing urban heat islands. Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, is one of the largest cities in the Global South and in the last five decades has undergone a rapid urban transition, impacting surrounding ecosystems. However, little is known about how urbanization affects the local flora. To understand how plants are responding and adapting to urbanization processes in the city of Bogotá, we used a land cover gradient of urban, peri-urban and rural areas, and four plant functional traits (leaf area [LA], specific leaf area [SLA], leaf dry matter content [LDMC] and wood density [WD]). We analyzed 16 species shared in at least two land covers. Although urban and peri-urban areas had higher temperatures and higher LDMC and lower SLA values than rural areas, there were no significant differences in functional traits between land covers. Some species showed significant changes between land covers, indicating that there is a species-specific response to urbanization. Considering the need for urban areas to prioritize species that promote cooling and exhibit resistance to stress, as well as the capacity to adapt to climate change, it is essential to include plants possessing different combinations of functional traits.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Urban Studies