Plant evolution in the urban jungle

Marc T.J. Johnson, Ken A. Thompson, Hargurdeep S. Saini

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


A hallmark of the Anthropocene is the rise of urban centers and their e ects on the environment. Urban areas cover 3–5% of the total land surface yet more than half of Earth’s human population lives in cities, suburbs, and towns ( Seto et al., 2010 ). Urbanization is happening faster today than ever before, and this rapid development dramatically changes the physical environment, ecological communities, as well as local and global ecosystems ( Seto et al., 2010;
Alberti, 2015 ). Several decades of urban ecology have identified a syndrome of environmental changes associated with urbanization ( Fig. 1 ). Despite these advances, we know little about how urbanization affects the evolution of organisms in general and plants in particular. Studying plant evolution within urban areas will facilitate a better under-standing of evolution and could provide insight into problems re-lated to conservation, environmental stability, and human health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1951-1953
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


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