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Urban ecophysiology : beyond costs, stress and biomarkers

Isaksson, Caroline LU (2020) In The Journal of experimental biology 223.
Abstract

Natural habitats are rapidly declining due to urbanisation, with a concomitant decline in biodiversity in highly urbanised areas. Yet thousands of different species have colonised urban environments. These organisms are exposed to novel urban conditions, which are sometimes beneficial, but most often challenging, such as increased ambient temperature, chemicals, noise and light pollution, dietary alterations and disturbance by humans. Given the fundamental role of physiological responses in coping with such conditions, certain physiological systems such as the redox system, metabolism and hormones are thought to specifically influence organisms' ability to persist and cope with urbanisation. However, these physiological systems often... (More)

Natural habitats are rapidly declining due to urbanisation, with a concomitant decline in biodiversity in highly urbanised areas. Yet thousands of different species have colonised urban environments. These organisms are exposed to novel urban conditions, which are sometimes beneficial, but most often challenging, such as increased ambient temperature, chemicals, noise and light pollution, dietary alterations and disturbance by humans. Given the fundamental role of physiological responses in coping with such conditions, certain physiological systems such as the redox system, metabolism and hormones are thought to specifically influence organisms' ability to persist and cope with urbanisation. However, these physiological systems often show mixed responses to urbanisation. Does this mean that some individuals, populations or species are resilient to the urban environmental challenges? Or is something missing from our analyses, leading us to erroneous conclusions regarding the impact of urbanisation? To understand the impact of urbanisation, I argue that a more integrated mechanistic and ecological approach is needed, along with experiments, in order to fully understand the physiological responses; without knowledge of their ecological and evolutionary context, physiological measures alone can be misinterpreted. Furthermore, we need to further investigate the causes of and capacity for individual plasticity in order to understand not only the impact of urbanisation, but also species resilience. I argue that abiotic and biotic urban factors can interact (e.g. pollution with micro- and macronutrients) to either constrain or relax individual physiological responses - and, thereby, plasticity - on a temporal and/or spatial scale, which can lead to erroneous conclusions regarding the impact of urbanisation.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Anthropogenic, Endocrinology, Environmental stress, Nutrition, Oxidative stress
in
The Journal of experimental biology
volume
223
article number
jeb203794
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • pmid:33208405
  • scopus:85096407896
ISSN
1477-9145
DOI
10.1242/jeb.203794
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
06760229-d449-4e8f-9b59-fbde6bf37f85
date added to LUP
2020-11-30 13:28:35
date last changed
2021-04-18 05:21:47
@article{06760229-d449-4e8f-9b59-fbde6bf37f85,
  abstract     = {<p>Natural habitats are rapidly declining due to urbanisation, with a concomitant decline in biodiversity in highly urbanised areas. Yet thousands of different species have colonised urban environments. These organisms are exposed to novel urban conditions, which are sometimes beneficial, but most often challenging, such as increased ambient temperature, chemicals, noise and light pollution, dietary alterations and disturbance by humans. Given the fundamental role of physiological responses in coping with such conditions, certain physiological systems such as the redox system, metabolism and hormones are thought to specifically influence organisms' ability to persist and cope with urbanisation. However, these physiological systems often show mixed responses to urbanisation. Does this mean that some individuals, populations or species are resilient to the urban environmental challenges? Or is something missing from our analyses, leading us to erroneous conclusions regarding the impact of urbanisation? To understand the impact of urbanisation, I argue that a more integrated mechanistic and ecological approach is needed, along with experiments, in order to fully understand the physiological responses; without knowledge of their ecological and evolutionary context, physiological measures alone can be misinterpreted. Furthermore, we need to further investigate the causes of and capacity for individual plasticity in order to understand not only the impact of urbanisation, but also species resilience. I argue that abiotic and biotic urban factors can interact (e.g. pollution with micro- and macronutrients) to either constrain or relax individual physiological responses - and, thereby, plasticity - on a temporal and/or spatial scale, which can lead to erroneous conclusions regarding the impact of urbanisation.</p>},
  author       = {Isaksson, Caroline},
  issn         = {1477-9145},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {The Journal of experimental biology},
  title        = {Urban ecophysiology : beyond costs, stress and biomarkers},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.203794},
  doi          = {10.1242/jeb.203794},
  volume       = {223},
  year         = {2020},
}