Evolution of life in urban environments

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Science  03 Nov 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6363, eaam8327
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam8327

Welcome to the city

Human populations are shifting en masse to cities, which is leading to rapid increases in the number and extent of urban areas. Such changes are well known to cause declines in many species, but they can also act as alternative selection pressures to which some species are able to adapt. Johnson and Munshi-South review the suite of pressures that urban environments exert, the ways in which species may (or may not) adapt, and the larger impact of these evolutionary events on natural processes and human populations. Understanding such urban evolution patterns will improve our ability to foster species persistence in the face of urbanization and to mitigate some of the challenges, such as disease, that adaptation can bring.

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