The Río Piedras Watershed

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Introduction

Today, more people live in cities than in rural environments. In Puerto Rico, the proportion of the population that lives in cities passed the 50-percent threshold in the late 1960s and was 94 percent in 2000 (López Marrero and Villanueva Colón 2006). Such a high concentration of human activity raises numerous conservation challenges. On the one hand, concentrating people in cities has positive outcomes to rural landscapes, which benefit from reduced human presence (Lugo 1991). On the other hand, natural and artificial ecological systems of cities are exposed to greater human influence, and it is not clear whether their resilience mechanisms will cope with anthropogenic effects or if the level of disturbance causes them to change states. Regardless of how particular urban ecosystems respond to human population activity, it is clear that quality of life in the city will benefit from
healthy environments within and around the city.