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KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering (0000) 00(0):1-9 Environmental Engineering

Copyright 2016 Korean Society of Civil Engineers


DOI 10.1007/s12205-016-1077-1 pISSN 1226-7988, eISSN 1976-3808
www.springer.com/12205
TECHNICAL NOTE

Applying Biotope Concepts and Approaches for Sustainable Environmental Design


Yan Huang*, Yichao Ma**, Wenting Wu***, and Qinzhi Lv****
Received December 21, 2015/Revised 1st: May 30, 2016, 2nd: July 20, 2016/Accepted/Published Online November 11, 2016

Abstract

Depletion of natural resources and habitat destruction has led to changes in ecosystems from the global to the local scale. For this
reason, numerous theories and methods from landscape ecology have emerged and applied in sustainable landscape planning and
design, including meso-and micro-scale biotope design. Although many research on biotope effectively promoting biodiversity
conservation, the concept of biotope and the biotope approaches in sustainable environmental design have not been well depicted. In
the present study, we propose a basic process of biotope design and several key points of design in response to increasing ecological
pressure from urban areas or rural areas. We believe this conceptual method will contribute an essential tool to address the spatial
dimension for achieving socio-economic and ecological sustainability.
Keywords: biotope, environmental design, ecological community

1. Introduction principle for all those designers that are involved in design future
space uses. Many designers believe that promoting sustainability
New theories and methods are needed to address the complex is the overarching goal of environment (and landscape) design,
issues arising from depletion of natural resources and habitat including design for conservation, protection and appropriate use
destruction, which has led to changes in ecosystems from the of space and natural resources (Forman, 1995; Chappells and
global to the local scale and may influence the sustainable Shove, 2005; Nassauer, 2012). In a way, sustainability is the
human development. Sustainability has emerged as a paradigm major objective of any design (Grossman and Bellot, 1999).
from these global issues. The term sustainability was first used in Framework for studying spatial interfaces of sustainability has an
1980 in IUCN's World Conservation Strategy. The definition obligation to ensure ecologically, socially, and economically
approved by United Nations World Commission on Environment benefits from the maintenance of harmony between man and nature.
and Development (WCED) in 1987 for sustainable development Its spatial dimension is strongly related to the interdependence of
is to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without space uses(van den Dobbelsteen and de Wilde, 2004).
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own It is increasingly recognized that more sustainable approaches
needs. The concept of sustainability is variedly defined by are needed for environmental design (Mller et al., 2010). New
numerous authorities, and different concept reveals different innovations, tools, and inventions are needed to effectively apply
dimensions. According to one of the fundamental views from sustainable principles to design. The spatial dimension of
systems approach, sustainability was defined as the capacity of sustainability engages processes and the relations between
the earth to maintain and support life and to endure as a system ecosystems and biotopes at different space and time scales
(Jongman, 1999; Grossman and Bellot, 1999). (Borgstrm, 2006). Scale is a key issue in sustainable design,
In this paper, we focus on spatial environment, one of the three across all scales of environmental phenomena, from the
core research subjects of environmental design which also connections between eco-systems and natural processes, from
includes: being lifestyle, and interactive experience (http:// global energy transfer to dynamic soil micromorphology. Due to
www.artcenter.edu/accd/programs/undergraduate/ the interdependencies of ecosystems, a design approach is
environmental.jsp). According to van Lier (1998), the notion to needed that examines a specific site in its broader context.
create more sustainable systems in the city has become a leading Therefore, scientific knowledge especially ecological knowledge

*Senior Engineer, Dept. of Environmental Design, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310023, PR China (Corresponding Author, E-mail:
huangyan@zjut.edu.cn)
**Professorate Senior Engineer, Zhejiang Design Institute of Water Conservancy and Hydroelectric Power, Hangzhou 310002, PR China (E-mail:
542767221@qq.com)
***Professor, Dept. of Environmental Design, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310023, PR China (E-mail:wwtaaa@163.com)
****Professor, Dept. of Environmental Design, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310023, PR China (E-mail: lvqz@zjut.edu.cn)

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Yan Huang, Yichao Ma, Wenting Wu, and Qinzhi Lv

is essential when designing for sustainability. And the landscape ecological factors. These processes are also effective in the
provides a proper carrier or medium for sustainable design adjustment to disturbance from nature or human.
(McLennan, 2004). This paper briefly reviews the concept of Creating biotopes is mainly focused on creating or rehabilitating
biotopes and related ecological principles, as well as biotope high density, small habitat space in environment, with special
design theories and methodologies. And a conceptual framework consideration of the bottom living space of the ecological
for biotope design is developed which applying landscape pyramid, that is to protect decomposers such as earthworms,
ecological concepts and exploring the multiple potential roles of ants, bacteria and fungi, green plants and moderate primary
environmental theories as ecological design tools. We argue for a consumer such as beetles, butterflies, dragonflies, mantises,
basic process that applies ecological knowledge to biotope frogs, toads, centipedes, etc. (Eisenhauer et al., 2012). Biodiversity
design activities and believe the framework represents a potential in cities refers mainly to creating diversified environment to
significant contribution to increasing the acceptance and use of provide habitats for different species, viz. soil, water, green
biotope knowledge across varieties of environmental design, and spaces, roads, hedges and other architectural exterior environment,
to enhance communication between designers, thus contributing emphasis on the preservation of the most basic biotopes in the
to an increased scientific and cultural consensus for sustainable food chain (McKinney, 2008). Only if the basic ecological
environmental design or sustainable landscape design. Numerous structure and function are robust can ensure the higher class
theories and methods have emerged from landscape ecology that species have enough food supply and remain durable harmonization
are useful for applying these concepts to sustainable landscape of biodiversity.
planning and design. This paper proposes a basic process of From an ecological perspective, other species related to human
biotope design, which is understood as the most useful and beings, and the complete biosphere is the environment which
relevant for sustainable environmental design. Furthermore, this humans depend on. An ecological community whether designed
approach might help to structure and clarify why, where, and or natural, its structure and function should adapt to the local
how landscape ecological principles effectively assist design. We natural processes. If an environment can maintain the survival
hold the view that proper method will contribute as essential and health of one species, then it could be called a suitable living
tools to address the spatial dimension of sustainability in a space for this species. There are perhaps three principal features
rigorous and robust manner. that constitute a good habitat: sustenance, safety and consonance
(Lynch, 1984). A good living environment has enough food,
2. Biotope and Related Concepts energy, water, air and no dangers, in harmony with the basic
ecological structure and natural rhythm.
Biotope is a term originally used in environmental protection The biotope design not only concerned about the artistry of
and wildlife conservation, and has been applied to landscape design, but also focus on its practicality. As early as the 4th
architecture in Europe, America and Japan over the past decade century BC, Socrates had already pointed out that the beauty is
(Rodiek and Thomas, 1980; BryanBurley, 1995; Margolis and not merely form, but suitability to purpose (Tatarkiewicz, 1980).
Robinson, 2007; Kobori, 2009). Generally, it is considered as a As a type of animal, the first need of human beings is to have a
unique natural ecosystem constituted by a variety of organisms living environment. Therefore, the ecological consideration in
existing in a certain region. Biotope is almost synonymous with environmental design is a basic requirement for human survival.
the term habitat; however, the following definitions apply under So the beauty lies in the satisfaction of people's living requirements
this article: habitat means an ecological or environmental area first, which is the prerequisite of general criteria in environmental
that is inhabited by a particular species, and biotope means a aesthetics. The aesthetics in environmental design is based on the
biological community (Hoshino, 2003). basic needs of human life, however nowadays some cities in the
With continuation in scale, the concept of biotope can deduce world still treat environmental design as visual art.
microbiotope or macrobiotope, the reason for biotope differentiation In the biosphere, all biological factors and abiotic factors are
is differential resource utilization between species. By now, as interdependence with each other. Even slight changes in
the natural environment is continually being destroyed, to afford temperature, humidity, soil structure, current of air or water, etc.
habitat to all life (not just those endangered species), and to in regional biological environment may finally affect all
restore or create disappeared biotopes, is a rather important and organisms in the world through the complex system of the
urgent social activity. Design is not just visual art in contemporary biosphere. As natural creatures, humans are inevitably linked to
landscape architecture and environmental designs, it is combined other organisms and abiotic factors. This basic knowledge of
with the concept of ecology, such as biotope, to improve the ecology informs us in designing of urban environments to try to
physical landscape structure and function, and help to create a maintain or restore the regional ecological system and to retain
sustainable world in the near future. Some prototypes from the landscape integrity. If the environmental design is to improve
nature such as anthills, earthworm holes, or coral reefs illuminate the human living environment, then only if the design follows
biotope design and provide some building materials for sustainable solar radiation, current of air, terrain and vegetation, water
construction (Achal et al., 2015). In nature, biotopes is formed, system can it bring the joy and satisfaction of environmental
maintained and evolved through natural processes between experience into our lives.

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Applying Biotope Concepts and Approaches for Sustainable Environmental Design

Lewis Mumford arguing against the neglect of organic ecological processes, the framework of natural habitats and the
environments in urban construction reminded us: The popular basis for sustainable landscape design (Pickett and Cadenasso,
technique in our era, do not take the relationships between 2008; Ignatieva and Ahrn, 2013). In recent years, the cases in
people and air, water, soil, and all other his organic partners be landscape planning and design of natural habitats such as
seen as the most basic and oldest relationship in the all relationships, Menomonee Valley Industrial Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsi, and
but every attempt was made to design and manufacture some design of plant communities and habitats,i.e. Gannett/USA
ingenious mechanical substitutes to replace the organism which Today Headquarters, McLean, Virginia, have offered new
can survive independently. ... Not bring the organism and life interpretations for means of relationships with the environment,
into the city, so that not only the poorest residents enjoy the new methods for ecological landscape and sustainable landscape
sunlight and air, but also have the opportunity to touch and design (Dinep and Schwab, 2009). In these cases, the professional
planting in the earth; but to become a barren countryside, and the design teams based on the natural environment and local
death of the city eventually (Mumford, 1968). populations, performed the functional space planning, conducted
To put the emphasis on the practicability of environmental habitat needs analysis, established the logical possibility tree to
design and ignore the meaning of it to the human spirit will deduce the most suitable habitat, and finally created an integrated
weaken the comprehensive understanding of natures value. ecosystem with complete community structure and function,
Only release from the fences of environmental materialism and where plants and animals well adapted.
promotion the relationship between man and nature, that is, from In landscape, scale is one of the basic but important feature, the
the material level to the spiritual level, from the practical to the scale at which landscape patterns are perceived by humans. The
aesthetic, would help to establish a harmonious relationship relationship between the large, intermediate and small-scale is
between man and nature in the spiritual sense in a truly equal extremely complex and the boundary between different scales
manner, which man and nature develop the beautiful cooperation are not clear. Small-scale ecological processes and patterns have
and interaction. Ecological aesthetics tell us the beauty of the their own independence and integrity, and superposition of them
world is the beauty of diverse and coexistent life (Gobster et al., constitute larger-scale ecological process and pattern. The
2007). The loss of diversity or the upset of ecological balance process and pattern characteristic of the larger-scale also has its
will result in far behind the beauty. Comprehension of ecological own ecological independence and integrity corresponding to
design from the perspective of ecological aesthetics treats scale level, consequently. Characteristics of large-scale are not
ecology as its objective. An Urban ecological environment simple escalations of the small-scale, and small scale is not
doesnt just emphasize material consumption, but spiritual simplistic subjected to the law of large scale (Thayer, 2003).
enjoyment, in which people experience real freedom and Each scale has its own ecological process, pattern, problems and
happiness. As an aesthetic material object, the environment does mutual conversion characteristics, which become the basic
not merely exist to be utilized in material related to human theoretical and applied framework for landscape ecology.
beings, but delivers man with aesthetic and emotional sensation. The ecological design of small-scale space is within the
Moving to ecological esthetics is the ideal state of the competitive area of traditional landscape architecture. The
relationship between man and the environment, and it provide development of science and technology provides scientific basis
the ideological foundation for ecological design. and technological approaches to small-scale ecological planning
and design, such as determination of soil pH, temperature,
3. Design Strategies of Biotope moisture, biomass or evaluate community composition, etc.
(Schulze and Beck, 2005; Oberndorfer et al., 2007). However,
Biotope problems are commonly solved by two technical due to the uncertain ecological relationships and processes of
methods: design strategies and engineering technology. Design small scale space, the lack of appropriate intervention methods,
strategies includes: plant community based design, site microclimate truly successful cases of ecological design are still very limited.
creating, site selection of building, green building materials and The key to small-scale space of ecological planning and design
so on (Moss and Wyatt, 1994; Levequ, 2003; Nagasea and are: 1) small differences in ecological factors to create niches; 2)
Nomura, 2014); engineering technology includes: soil improvement site conditions, species selection and community design; 3) the
techniques, wetland restoration and creation, ecological treatment of unique ecological processes and ecological linkages residing in
embankment, ecological green roofs, and green walls (Pigay et small-scale space; 4) ecological bridge with ecological dependency
al., 2005; Kim et al., 2011; Byeon, 2012; Ignatieva and Ahrn, and continuity in small-scale space; 5) behavioral characteristics
2013; Guseva and Koval, 2015). of human and environment; 6) the humanistic and cultural
Eco-designers must possess necessary ecological knowledge, characteristics of landscape, and 7) how to correctly improve the
recognize the complexity of interaction between man and nature relationship between biomass production and human activity in
and the limits of planning and design. Their basic task is to keep small-scale space.
a role as the nurturing parent towards life and land. Flora has Biotope theory is the fundamental basis for ecological design
become the main subject of landscape in current ecological of biotic community. In traditional planning and design, in out
planning and design, which is taking as the most direct carrier of and free land is usually used as the land covered with vegetation,

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Yan Huang, Yichao Ma, Wenting Wu, and Qinzhi Lv

and usually after the construction of roads and buildings, which finished object, but a design to accommodate the changes in the
indicate the subordinate role of natural environment and the plant future, suitable for a long term, such as biotope (Filor, 1994;
systems ornamental value on human preferences. From basic zyavuz, 2013). In contemporary environmental design, many
conditions and desired objectives of a community, ecological designers and theorists have expressed the importance of
design of biotic community plans and designs the habitat of flora openness and variability in design, which put together enabling
and fauna, namely to create biotope (Rosenzweig, 2003; Beatley, factors to solve unexpected problems. Process design does not
2011). The approach for biotope creation is the primary problem place emphasis on the stationary completion status, but allows
of ecological design on biotic community, which is composed of evolution to be made during the actual process and thus is a very
numerous biological factors and abiotic factors and complex flexible method of design.
interaction between them. As biotope is the foundation to Multi-Functional Landscape Design provides various functions
maintain a biotic community in good conditions, to create for people in a limited space (OFarrell and Anderson, 2010). In
biotope is the key to setting up the configuration system between other words, this is a method to think about how to manage the
environment and organisms. space for various uses. Unlike functional zoning, MFLD does
In the long-term of ecological adaptation and biological not divide a space into clear functional areas, but interlaces fuzzy
evolution, the corresponding relationships between organism and domains of different function layers of space (layers of matrix,
environment generate utilization, transforming and sustaining vegetation, water, recreational space and ecological learning,
other relationships; each species in community or ecosystem etc.) and creates multi-functional areas where, for example,
occupies a unique niche due to differential resource utilization, people who taking recreational activities by the water can also
and produces corresponding interaction effects. Seen from the learn about ecology at the same time. According to Gibsons
environment, the specific existence of living organisms is the theory (1979), the perception of the environment inevitably leads
biotope of the species; Seen from the organism, organism occupy to some course of action. The biotope provides not only a place
a special niche in the environment. for variety recreational activities, but also a habitat for many
With the rapid development of municipal construction and real living creatures. Thus, in a multi-functional recreational area,
estate industry in China and other countries, natural areas has people are able to engage in various activities, while they are
become progressively disturbed and threatened. Where do we relaxing there, they also can learn something new about its
engage with the natural world? Or where will we learn about ecology.
nature? To solve this problem, biotope design within the limited
vacant land in cities is needed and necessary. These spaces serve 4. Process of Biotope Design and the Key Points
real ecological functions as natural areas and also serve as play of Design
and engagement areas. But how to revitalize the surviving open
space or degraded natural landscapes like biotope? Here we 4.1 Investigation and Process for Biotope Design
suggested two methods: Process design and MSD: Multi- First of all, an investigation for biotope design must be taken,
functional Space Design. which need examine the structural elements of the disturbed
Process design or dynamic design was not to design a ecosystem namely the project site, and a similar ecosystem

Fig. 1. Process of Biotope Design

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Applying Biotope Concepts and Approaches for Sustainable Environmental Design

which maintain the native habitat (such as ecological factors, 4.2 Biotope Types and the Key Points of Design
plant and animal species, etc.), explore the natural process Habitat diversity is the foundation of biotope diversity, and
(such as the water cycle conditions, food chain composition, diversified habitats meet the needs of different types of plants
etc.) and systematically study in cross-grade of key species and animals. But how to put this into biotope design? 1) Create
namely key species-centered analysis in different levels. In plenty of habitat types. In biotope design, according space
addition, although the main object of design is often confined environment types, biotope can be divided into the woods
to the physical environment (by microclimate creating, changes biotope of sloping fields, woods biotope of flat fields, woods
of soil and paving, etc.) and production (by plant disposition, biotope of depression, pure meadow biotope, gravel meadow
etc.), but a few species on the top of food chain are usually biotope, lake biotope, pond biotope, waterfront biotope, shrub
selected as the key monitoring targets for evaluation of the swamp biotope, farmland biotope, etc., of which each biotope
status quo or design effectiveness. The environmental type defines the appropriate flora and fauna (Wang, 2009). 2)
adaptability for candidate species is obtained on the basis of the Preserve the biodiversity as much as possible (Huston, 1994;
above research and analysis. And then the limiting factor for Mohamad, 2012). Create many types of natural habitats and
candidate species is determined. Next, pick out the biotope multi-level, stable plant community is a necessary requisite to
adaptive species. Meanwhile, outline the measures for attracting wildlife inhabitant. To establish woodlands, shrubs,
ecological restoration and reconstruction of environment. ponds, low-lying land, and even retain waste buildings, rubble
Combined the above two processes, the designed habitat is reefs and pristine habitats in urban green space might result in an
established. Finally, with visual analysis to determine the form increase of local species diversity. Meanwhile, the animals and
of biotope, and based on ecological analysis to check the plants in biotope have special niche characteristics and a certain
structure and function of biotope. Thereafter, biotope would be degree of adaptability to different habitats, which determines the
adjusted continuously to be organic and diversified. And the diversity and adaptability of biotope. 3) Artificial design habitat
basic process of biotope design as follows (Fig. 1): facilities. According the survival characteristics of the target
The artificial imitated natural communities allow plants and plants and animals, design protection facilities to help wildlife
animals growth and reproduction. In the early stages of biotope survive, such as artificial nest, bird house, rabbit nest, dog
formation, the sign of artificial composition are obvious, but with kennel, cat litter, etc. The main biotope types and the key points
the growth and evolution of the community, it becomes closer to of design are shown in Table 1.
the communities in natural and semi-natural state. In an artificial Biotope concept is utilized for the project of comprehensive
environment, this semi-natural green spaces is especially valuable improvement of water environment in Shima river, Anji County,
where are the refuges and habitats for plants and animals to China. Apart from technical aspect of water conservancy, another
survive. Through the construction of networked biotopes in key point of this project is to increasing ecological infrastructure
urban areas, diffusion of species becomes possible which can for valley ecological restoration, such as ecological embankment
restore the extinguished population in small area and keep the and ecological grassed swale and so on (see Fig. 2), which
regional gene pool diverse (Ericson et al., 1988). provide the possibility of establishment and evolution of biotope
Hutchinson (1967) wrote: In community habitats, we can also (see Fig. 3, 4). However, this project was just started and only first-
identify a series of habitat, thats characteristics can be described stage project was completed (July, 2015). Further assessment is
by different species in existence. The habitat in its geographic needed to carry out in later years for more accurate and
distribution can be defined as follows: deciding those ecosystem meaningful results.
components of biotope must ensure the survival of the species, Besides maintaining the diversity of plant species in urban
and the habitat concept here is in spatial extension (Pugh, 1996; areas, biotope design requires consideration of the survival and
van Bohemen, 1998; Livingston et al., 2003). reproduction of small mammals, amphibians, insects, birds, soil

Table1. Main Biotope Types and Key Points of Design


Biotope type Characteristics Key Points of Design
Woods biotope of sloping fields Variable environmental factors Terrain transforming;
Woods biotope of flat fields Fertile soil Drainage convenient; soil melioration
Woods biotope of depression Damp or moist Matching site with plants; drainage
Pure meadow biotope Grass adapted for growing Micro-terrain reformation
Gravel meadow biotope Keep soil moisture, temperature and fertilizer Stone type and laying form
Lake biotope Hygrophyte adapted for growing Flat form and profile type of water
Pond biotope Hygrophyte adapted for growing Matching site with plants
Waterfront biotope Ecotone Approaching nature embankment
Shrub swamp biotope Wetland plant adapted for growing Hydrophilic design
Farmland biotope Farmland-woodland symbiotic system Drainage convenient; soil melioration

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Yan Huang, Yichao Ma, Wenting Wu, and Qinzhi Lv

Fig. 2. Profile of Approaching Nature Embankment

moths require a smaller scale habitat. According to a study of


Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences,13800 observations
for animals in urban green space, 68% of the animals on the high
level of vegetation, the small birds have a strong dependence on
a high level of vegetation, 60% of medium-sized birds and 45%
of large birds living in the trees and bushes, while most insects
and mammals living in open ground, but almost all the distance
from the observed habitat to surrounding vegetation less than
8m, and they are linked by a very close relationship with
Fig. 3. Actual Approaching Nature Embankment (6 months after vegetation especially the density of vegetation (Wang, 2009). In
completion) addition, flourishing trees in green space will become an
important habitat, and even some birds select specific trees for
nesting and roosting (Aubry and Raley, 2002).
Safety zone should be clearly staked out in biotope design
which is wildlife shelter and free from disturbances. Pay
attention to the biotope which affected by external factors at a
level low enough to avoid disturbance, especially the ones
connecting urban green space system or as urban green corridor.
In a sense, the networked feature and the position in urban green
space system determine whether the biotope is good and
important.
Bushes are attractive for birds, reptiles and insects. Dwarf
forest mixed with tall trees, can be used to create a varied
biological habitat, as thick bushes and ground plants provide
vision barriers and shelter for different animals, especially
Fig. 4. Hydrilla verticillata in Aquatic Biotope of River Channel (6
months after completion) nesters. Abundant plant species, multi-level arrangement and
uneven aged structure guarantee the stability of one biotope
which become hotspots for breeding species.
animals and aquatic organisms or microbial. An appropriate Dead trees, weeds after cutting, even decomposing wood in
biotope for wildlife and plant communities should be restricted green space could become a key habitat element of insects, soil
in a limited area and with proper scale. As characteristics vary animals and microorganisms. And habitat with open water and
among wildlife, the appropriate area and scale of biotope for marsh can provide shelter for waterfowl, reptiles, amphibians,
different species are different. For small and medium birds in insects and others. Plants cultivated at the waterside or in shallow
urban areas, their habitats need at least half a hectare of water may increase the attractiveness of water space for
woodland with tall crown, whereas small mammals such as providing shelter and food. Moreover, serpentine shoreline bring
hares need larger, more complex habitat. Insects like butterflies, backwater area of hydrostatic environment to spawning fish and

6 KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering


Applying Biotope Concepts and Approaches for Sustainable Environmental Design

insects, in which floating, emergent, and submerged plants important part of urban ecological system. In addition to retaining
would increase habitat diversity. Since amphibians such as frogs regional flora and vegetation, native plants in local nurseries or
need migration between land and water to fulfill their life in community succession should be widely used as far as
processes, preserving waterside environments is a fatal factor for possible. And dense planting of smaller size seedlings is a fast
species. and effective method for habitat reconstruction. In later years,
after thinning and inter-planting long-lived plants, plant communities
4.3 Physical Structure of Biotope would be more conducive to natural succession. What's more, as
Based on the differences from the movement patterns of contour planting method can reduce the artificial damage to the
interface between different circles, the structure of ecosystem original habitats, it could be applied in areas where need to
can be divided into five levels: huge, large, medium, small, tiny. preserve native vegetation or natural terrain.
The so-called protection, restoration, and creation of biotope, is To create a semi-natural herb layer quickly is essential to the
actually an activity that improves the disturbed eco-system of formation of biotope. And to supply a suitable environment is the
site, even revitalizes it. Currently, biotope is designed and critical factor for herb growing, which including improving soil
constructed mainly within relatively small geographical scopes, composition, soil structure, soil moisture and other ecological
with the corresponding physical structure limited to medium or factors. And then according site specific conditions and species
lower. characteristics, determine the approaches to form herb layer, i.e.
To make the environment suitable for every being and their seed sowing or seedling transplanting. During the development
symbiosis, terrain modification is always first prepared. According of herb layer and ground layer, manual weeding and mechanical
to the site dimension, build convex ridge structures with different aids are still necessary, but the purpose are to weaken the species
heights such as hills and rockeries. And the locations with which are highly competitive. The native grass species gradually
different illumination, temperature and humidity can produce a disappearing in suburbs are the main species for ecological
variety of micro-environment. Under different living environments, restoration in urban green space. These species could be widely
individuals of the same species may differentiate in morphology used in cases such as meadow, waterfront wetland, road green
and physiology, especially herbaceous vegetation, moss and so on space, etc.
(van Valen, 1965; Sultan, 2001). While concave groove structures For artificial community, to create physical structure is the
formed in terrain modification, a preliminary form of river way is starting point for function design. Besides the normal community
developed, and problems such as co-aquatic ecosystem or openness functions, some have particular interests, such as antipollution
of channels demanding further consideration. In more gently community (anti-dust pollution, anti-heavy metal pollution, anti-
inclined slope, the water resources site in higher grounds to form harmful gases pollution and others), health therapeutic community,
currents, ponds, cascades, and other continuous or non-continuous carbon reduction community, and microclimate regulation and
water landscapes, and provide possibilities of varied humidity improvement community, culture community and so on. Community
along the water system which enhance habitat diversity finally. functions determine the living characteristics of the species
For the management of biotope, species diversity is sustained served, especially behavioral characteristics of animal. From
chiefly by the control of habitat diversity. On this account, another point of view, biotope design must be to meet the
consideration shall be given to the provision of a variety of living different needs of the target species, including human being of
spaces to different wildlife, especially animals, such as hole, course. For plant community in urban areas, it is not only served
crevice, pipe, box, and other structures. Besides functioning as normal ecological function, but also for human activity, such
requirements, the form of structures also need to consider. From as recreation, education, and other functions in social life. On the
level small to level tiny, the most important structure are hole and premise of meeting the needs of normal functions, biotope has a
crevice. Holes can be formed by drilling or digging on materials, general community structure, and the vertical structure of it
such as earth, logs, rocks and so on. And according to the habits might be influenced by human behavioral characteristics. To
of target species, the position of holes place on appropriate adjust community structure is a relatively simple way to fulfill
locations. Furthermore, hole entrance should be hidden as much function requirements of biotope. With the consideration of
as possible. And crevice or crevice - shaped structure could be human activities, small trees and large shrubs of the middle layer
formed by grooving or accumulating method which can be are often restricted. In addition, as growing people increasing the
constituted by small stones, gravel, sand or debris of plants. Box like hood that a large area will be trampled, cover plants need
structure can present in cabin-like form with a variety of possess some special characteristics, which not only limited to
biological living environments, or may be just a simple box. trample resistance, but the ability to recover from disturbance.
Around and inside these structures, the basic spatial heterogeneity
i.e. space with varied micro-environment is created. Moreover, 5. Conclusions
the lower level structures from small to tiny might superimpose
on its basic spatial heterogeneity to increase habitat diversity This study highlighted and reviewed biotope concept and
further. biotope design associated with ecological theories, especially in
Reconstruction of semi-natural urban wildlife biotope is an landscape ecology. Biotope is not a fixed ideal, but an evolving

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concept to be redefined and reassessed according to each Eisenhauer, N., Reich, P. B., and Isbell, F. (2012). Decomposer diversity
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