Table 2.

Mapping urban-driven phenotypic trait change to ecosystem function

Urban signaturesEcoevolutionary feedback
Urban DisturbanceMechanismPhenotypic traitEcosystem functionFeedback mechanismRef.
NovelExposure to effluent/heat from power plantHeat coma temp. (thermal tolerance) in snails (Physa virgata)BiodiversityNew “physiological races”; colonization41
NovelElectricity pylons, novel high-zinc habitatsZinc tolerance in plants: Agrostis capillaris, Agrostis stolonifera, etc.Primary productivity; biodiversityConsumer–resource dynamics42
HeterogeneityHydrological connectivity altered via a fish ladderBody size in brown trout (Salmo trutta)Nutrient cyclingLife history changes43
Biotic interactionInvasion of a molluskivorous crab (Carcinus maenas)Shell thickness (in millimeters) in periwinkle snail (Littorina obtusta)Biotic controlTrophic interactions44
Social interactionLong-term selective harvesting of a medicinal plantSize of American ginseng plants (Panax quinquefolius)Primary productivity; biodiversityConsumer–resource dynamics45
Biotic interactionIntroduction to predator-free islandAntipredator behavior in multiple species of marsupialsNutrient cyclingAllocation of time to foraging vs. vigilance46
Phenological/life history
HeterogeneityTemporal heterogeneity in water availabilityFlowering time in field mustard (Brassica rapa)Primary productionConsumer–resource dynamics47
Habitat modificationGlobal climate changeSeasonal onset of reproduction in 65 species of migratory birdsBiodiversity; biotic controlColonization; novel competition48
  • Documented phenotypic trait changes (see ref.), urban drivers, and hypothesized ecoevolutionary feedback mechanisms.