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Urban Evolutionary Biology$
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Marta Szulkin, Jason Munshi-South, and Anne Charmantier

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198836841

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198836841.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2021

Evolutionary Dynamics of Metacommunities in Urbanized Landscapes

Evolutionary Dynamics of Metacommunities in Urbanized Landscapes

(p.175) Chapter 11 Evolutionary Dynamics of Metacommunities in Urbanized Landscapes
Urban Evolutionary Biology

Kristien I. Brans

Lynn Govaert

Luc De Meester

Oxford University Press

As urbanization leads to repeated, marked environmental gradients in space, it provides an ideal ‘natural’ experiment to study how evolving metacommunities, in which evolutionary and community ecological processes interact in a landscape context, respond to anthropogenic disturbances. An integrated approach that combines community data with data on genetic responses of focal taxa to urbanization is still lacking, notwithstanding the likely importance of eco-evolutionary feedbacks on urban ecosystem functions and services. Such a joint analysis is most easily achieved by focusing on shifts in trait values and their interspecific (cf. community ecology) and intraspecific components. The latter involves both non-genetic and genetic responses, and should be quantified for all dominant, abundant, or ecologically important species in the (meta)community. This chapter introduces the evolving metacommunity framework and discusses the use of cities to study how this framework can contribute to our insight into population and community responses to anthropogenic change. It discusses how this framework can enhance our capacity to predict responses to contemporary and future urbanization as well as its possible consequences for ecosystem functioning. It predicts that evolutionary trait change contributes substantially to observed trait shifts at the community level. Conversely, genetic adaptation might often be constrained by rapid changes in species composition. It explores eco-evolutionary partitioning metrics that quantify the evolutionary and ecological contributions to responses to urbanization. Finally, it provides guidelines for experimental studies on urban evolving metacommunities, and suggests directions on research that will build towards a fully integrated evolving metacommunity framework addressing biological responses to urbanization.

Keywords:   Eco-evolutionary partitioning metrics, evolving metacommunities, common gardening experiments, community-weighted mean trait value, intraspecific trait variation, multispecies approach, urban eco-evolutionary dynamics, urban evolution, transplant experiments

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