Scientists: Plants and Animals Evolve to Live in Urban Areas

A recently published study analyzed 1, 600 cases around the world, confirming that plants and animals have learned to perfectly adapt their phenotypes to challenging urban environments, while having some impact on ecosystems and human well-being.

Phenotypes are expressions of genes. Scientists have found that certain phenotypes of animals and plants affect their "urban" life, which, in particular, manifests itself in body size, reproduction and behavior.

“We found, ” says research participant Marina Alberti of the University of Washington, “that there is a very definite effect of the urban environment on phenotypic change. Total urbanization is doing its job. The functioning of ecosystems changes, which, in turn, affects human life. The changes, in particular, affected biodiversity, nutrient cycling, seeds and water purification. ”

Research has also shown that humanity is entering the Anthropocene, a geological era in which human influence on the Earth's ecosystem increasingly dominates.