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A New Framework for Urban Ecology : An Integration of Proximate and Ultimate Responses to Anthropogenic Change

Ouyang, Jenny Q. ; Isaksson, Caroline LU ; Schmidt, Chloé ; Hutton, Pierce ; Bonier, Frances and Dominoni, Davide (2018) In Integrative and Comparative Biology 58(5). p.915-928
Abstract

As urban areas continue to grow, understanding how species respond and adapt to urban habitats is becoming increasingly important. Knowledge of the mechanisms behind observed phenotypic changes of urban-dwelling animals will enable us to better evaluate the impact of urbanization on current and future generations of wildlife and predict how animals respond to novel environments. Recently, urban ecology has emerged not only as a means of understanding organismal adaptation but also as a framework for exploring mechanisms mediating evolutionary phenomena. Here, we have identified four important research topics that will advance the field of urban ecology and shed light on the proximate and ultimate causes of the phenotypic differences... (More)

As urban areas continue to grow, understanding how species respond and adapt to urban habitats is becoming increasingly important. Knowledge of the mechanisms behind observed phenotypic changes of urban-dwelling animals will enable us to better evaluate the impact of urbanization on current and future generations of wildlife and predict how animals respond to novel environments. Recently, urban ecology has emerged not only as a means of understanding organismal adaptation but also as a framework for exploring mechanisms mediating evolutionary phenomena. Here, we have identified four important research topics that will advance the field of urban ecology and shed light on the proximate and ultimate causes of the phenotypic differences commonly seen among species and populations that vary in their responses to urbanization. First, we address the ecological and socio-economic factors that characterize cities, how they might interact with each other, and how they affect urban species. Second, we ask which are the proximate mechanisms underlying the emergence over time of novel traits in urban organisms, focusing on developmental effects. Third, we emphasize the importance of understanding the ultimate causations that link phenotypic shifts to function. This question highlights the need to quantify the strength and direction of selection that urban individuals are exposed to, and whether the phenotypic shifts associated with life in the city are adaptive. Lastly, we stress the need to translate how individual-level responses scale up to population dynamics. Understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of variation among populations and species in their responses to urbanization will unravel species resilience to environmental perturbation, which will facilitate predictive models for sustainability and development of green cities that maintain or even increase urban biodiversity and wildlife health and wellbeing.

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author
; ; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Integrative and Comparative Biology
volume
58
issue
5
pages
14 pages
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • pmid:30376106
  • scopus:85055618555
ISSN
1557-7023
DOI
10.1093/icb/icy110
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4ee97737-0511-4602-86b6-7a0a66290aa9
date added to LUP
2018-11-15 08:23:47
date last changed
2021-10-06 04:14:04
@article{4ee97737-0511-4602-86b6-7a0a66290aa9,
  abstract     = {<p>As urban areas continue to grow, understanding how species respond and adapt to urban habitats is becoming increasingly important. Knowledge of the mechanisms behind observed phenotypic changes of urban-dwelling animals will enable us to better evaluate the impact of urbanization on current and future generations of wildlife and predict how animals respond to novel environments. Recently, urban ecology has emerged not only as a means of understanding organismal adaptation but also as a framework for exploring mechanisms mediating evolutionary phenomena. Here, we have identified four important research topics that will advance the field of urban ecology and shed light on the proximate and ultimate causes of the phenotypic differences commonly seen among species and populations that vary in their responses to urbanization. First, we address the ecological and socio-economic factors that characterize cities, how they might interact with each other, and how they affect urban species. Second, we ask which are the proximate mechanisms underlying the emergence over time of novel traits in urban organisms, focusing on developmental effects. Third, we emphasize the importance of understanding the ultimate causations that link phenotypic shifts to function. This question highlights the need to quantify the strength and direction of selection that urban individuals are exposed to, and whether the phenotypic shifts associated with life in the city are adaptive. Lastly, we stress the need to translate how individual-level responses scale up to population dynamics. Understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of variation among populations and species in their responses to urbanization will unravel species resilience to environmental perturbation, which will facilitate predictive models for sustainability and development of green cities that maintain or even increase urban biodiversity and wildlife health and wellbeing.</p>},
  author       = {Ouyang, Jenny Q. and Isaksson, Caroline and Schmidt, Chloé and Hutton, Pierce and Bonier, Frances and Dominoni, Davide},
  issn         = {1557-7023},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {915--928},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Integrative and Comparative Biology},
  title        = {A New Framework for Urban Ecology : An Integration of Proximate and Ultimate Responses to Anthropogenic Change},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icb/icy110},
  doi          = {10.1093/icb/icy110},
  volume       = {58},
  year         = {2018},
}