The study of this so-called urban evolution “is an area that’s rapidly gaining momentum,” says Marc Johnson, an evolutionary ecologist.
He and a colleague reported in 2017 that the number of published studies on how species are evolving in the city had more than doubled in the preceding five years. Urban environments, he says, are seen by many as an exciting new playground for research into evolution in action. “From an evolutionary biologist’s point of view, this is a massive, unplanned experiment. . . . It became this idea of a very powerful way to study evolution across the globe, replicated thousands of times.”
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