A framework to assess evolutionary responses to anthropogenic light and sound

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  • John P. Swaddle
    College of William and Mary, Virginia
  • Clinton Francis
    California Polytechnic State University
  • Jesse Barber
    Boise State University, Boise, ID
  • Caren Cooper
    North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
  • Christopher Kyba
    Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, Germany
  • Davide Dominoni
    University of Glasgow
  • Graeme Shannon
    Colorado State University
  • Erik Aschehoug
    North Carolina State University
  • Sarah Goodwin
    University of Massachusetts–Amherst
  • Akito Kawahara
    University of Florida
  • David Luther
    George Mason University, Fairfax
  • Kamiel Spoelstra
    Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • Margaret Voss
    Syracuse University
  • Travis Longcore
    University of Southern California and The Urban Wildlands Group, Los Angeles
Human activities have caused a near-ubiquitous and evolutionarily-unprecedented increase in environmental sound levels and artificial night lighting. These stimuli reorganize communities by interfering with species-specific perception of time-cues, habitat features, and auditory and visual signals. Rapid evolutionary changes could occur in response to light and noise, given their magnitude, geographical extent, and degree to which they represent unprecedented environmental conditions. We present a framework for investigating anthropogenic light and noise as agents of selection, and as drivers of other evolutionary processes, to influence a range of behavioral and physiological traits such as phenological characters and sensory and signaling systems. In this context, opportunities abound for understanding contemporary and rapid evolution in response to human-caused environmental change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-560
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number9
Early online date10 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015
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