Cities are changing track of evolution

24 Feb

mysteriousCities in a certain way influenced the ecosystem and even changed the track of evolution. Scientists have found that evolutionary changes began to occur quicker than previously thought. The ecosystem is changing before our eyes. Spiders in the cities become larger and salmon in the rivers – less. This fish is capable to live in both salt and fresh waters.

Urban birds bolder. A new study by Marina Alberti, University of Washington shows that the pressure of human civilization on the ecosystem can have important consequences for the environment and eventually the man himself.

Thanks man ecosystems cities become unstable, but gain unprecedented still possible to change quickly, adapting to the new conditions created by human civilization. And this person’s capacity to influence the course of natural processes must be measured in the further urbanization.

Professor Marina Alberti working in laboratory studies of urban ecology college artificial environment of the University of Washington. She – professor of urban design and planning. Marina Alberti notes that evolutionary changes, which should be long, began to happen rapidly. Her research was reviewed resource Science Daily.

The present processes can be measured only by interdisciplinary research, and the only way to establish a relationship between human civilization and the processes occurring in nature. And determine whether these or other natural changes. Professor Alberti emphasizes that quick evolution can have a negative force on the environment. This phenomenon is called eco-evolutionary feedback.

Cities not only influence biodiversity, reducing the number and diversity of species living in them … result [acceleration of evolutionary processes] is the variety, the food chain, seed dispersal, detoxification, food production and eventually on human health and welfare.

Human civilization is influenced by changes in fish, birds, mammals and plants. In addition to increasing and decreasing salmon spider’s professor notes that earthworms are more tolerant to metals, the seeds of some plants are distributed as efficiently as a kind of urban mice enjoys a standing as carriers of Lyme disease (borreliosis).

Songbirds are becoming bolder. Changing their tune, because they should be audible even in the urban noise. European blackbirds become sedentary and cease to fly away for the winter.

The reason for all these changes – and the humanity of his city, says Professor Alberti. Urbanization is changing, and sometimes even breaks the usual vegetation patterns. The reason for this pollution, noise and light, as well as increased temperature. Also changes the available resources, water and food, which leads to a change in the life cycle of many species. For example, in urban poultry feed is not the same as that in the wild.

Professor Albert does not believe what is happening something very bad. It just emphasizes that a person has a exclusive chance – to set the direction of evolution on Earth. But this feature requires a great deal of caution.

Ecosystems cities – a kind of hybrids and, she adds:

Their hybrid nature makes them unstable, but the ability to change.

Professor Alberti this topic will reveal in the book Cities as Hybrid Ecosystems (Cities as hybrid ecosystems), which will be released in the spring of 2016.

According to her, just depends on the person, whether in the outlook of sustainable urban ecosystem. But for this it is significant that people are aware of the vital role they play in the formation of new ecosystems.

In human form unique urban living conditions for dissimilar species. In the wild, these conditions do not exist, and all life begins to adapt to these new conditions: birds sing so that they could be heard even through the constant noise of the metropolis.

Will humanity be taken warily to the nature of their cities? And take advantage of opportunities to make it even more beautiful than the benefit for them, and for the very nature? At least thanks to scientists now know that human civilization has an force on those species that live and grow in humanity built cities. However, changing not only the ecosystem cities. In the northern forests are regularly gaining ground quite dissimilar plant species than ever before.

Professor Albert during their more research is going to look for answers to a number of significant issues for the whole of civilization. Can rapid urbanization change the course of evolution on Earth? Not affect whether it is a negative impact on the oxygen content in the Earth’s atmosphere? Can other approaches to urbanization change the nature of humanity exerted effects on the ecosystem and evolutionary processes?

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Posted by on February 24, 2015 in Mysterious


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