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The placement of vegetation plays a central role in the realism of virtual scenes. We introduce procedural placement models (PPMs) for vegetation in urban layouts. PPMs are environmentally sensitive to city geometry and allow identifying plausible plant positions based on structural and functional zones in an urban layout. PPMs can either be directly used by defining their parameters or learned from satellite images and land register data. This allows us to populate urban landscapes with complex 3D vegetation and enhance existing approaches for generating urban landscapes. Our framework’s effectiveness is shown through examples of large-scale city scenes and close-ups of individually grown tree models. We validate the results generated with our framework with a perceptual user study and its usability based on urban scene design sessions with expert users.
Human land use threatens global biodiversity and compromises multiple ecosystem functions critical to food production. Whether crop yield–related ecosystem services can be maintained by a few dominant species or rely on high richness remains unclear. Using a global database from 89 studies (with 1475 locations), we partition the relative importance of species richness, abundance, and dominance for pollination; biological pest control; and final yields in the context of ongoing land-use change. Pollinator and enemy richness directly supported ecosystem services in addition to and independent of abundance and dominance. Up to 50% of the negative effects of landscape simplification on ecosystem services was due to richness losses of service-providing organisms, with negative consequences for crop yields. Maintaining the biodiversity of ecosystem service providers is therefore vital to sustain the flow of key agroecosystem benefits to society.