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Adaptation, speciation and extinction in the Anthropocene

Adaptation, speciation and extinction in the Anthropocene

Humans have dramatically altered the planet over the course of a century, from the acidity of our oceans to the fragmentation of our landscapes and the temperature of our climate. Species find themselves in novel environments, within communities assembled from never before encountered mixtures of invasives and natives. The speed with which the biotic and abiotic environment of species has changed has already altered the evolutionary trajectory of species, a trend that promises to escalate. In this article, I reflect upon this altered course of evolution. Human activities have reshaped selection pressures, favouring individuals that better survive in our built landscapes, that avoid our hunting and fishing, and that best tolerate the species that we have introduced. Human-altered selection... Show More

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