Science

Evolution Adaptation: Clear Signal Of Urbanization Seen In Organisms

By Allan Alforte , Jan 07, 2017 02:15 AM EST
BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 06: A discarded Christmas tree waits to be collected outside a residential property on January 6, 2017 in Bristol, England. Following the festive period many councils in UK are struggling to get on top of the huge amount of residential recycling and refuse that has been generated. In Bristol, the city's waste company, Bristol Waste has described the levels as being 'unprecedented' and the cause of some delays in collection. (Photo : Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Researchers now claim that in cities across the globe, signs evolution adaptation can be seen.

Scientists have identified clear signal of urbanization of in the evolution of organisms and these changes have implications to human well-being and sustainability.

According to statistics, more than half of the world's human population lives in cities.

According to Marina Alberti from the University of Washington's Department of Urban Design and Planning, they have found a clear signal of big change in urbanizing systems compared to natural systems.

These changes have been studied and according to the research, both plants and animals are affected. Among the noted changes were alteration of body sizes, shift of behavioral patterns and adjustment of reproduction.

French researchers have found that there is a rapid evolutionary change in seed sizes in plants to adapt to an urban environment.

The scientists have found out that seeds from Hawksbeard were much larger in urban areas as compared to the seeds found in rural settings and is attributed to evolution adaptation.

This particular adaptation the scientists noted that heavier seeds fell near the mother plant where there is soil while lighter seeds were carried onto tarmac and cement in an urban landscape.

Human activity in the form of urbanization will have a lasting impact on evolution giving weight to the idea that Earth is now entering an Anthropocene epoch, an era where humans have a direct impact on Earth's ecosystems and geology according to a report by the BBC News.

According to a study, the strongest evidence of how urbanization influences the evolutionary process is the blackening of urban surfaces. This led to the development of darker moths that are in turn are better camouflaged against predators.

Another example of how urbanization affects evolution is how urban pollution has resulted in the evolution of toxic chemical resistance in mice and fish according to an article by American Journal of Botany.

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