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Global loss of avian evolutionary uniqueness in urban areas [Global Change Biology]

Keywords : biodiversity, biotic homogenization, birds, evolutionary distinctiveness, human-induced environmental change, urban ecology

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Urbanization, one of the most important anthropogenic impacts on Earth, is rapidly expanding worldwide. This expansion of urban land-covered areas is known to significantly reduce different components of biodiversity. However, the global evidence for this effect is mainly focused on a single diversity measure (species richness) with a few local or regional studies also supporting reductions in functional diversity. We have used birds, an important ecological group that has been used as surrogate for other animals, to investigate the hypothesis that urbanization reduces the global taxonomical and/or evolutionary diversity. We have also explored whether there is evidence supporting that urban bird communities are evolutionarily homogenized worldwide in comparison with nonurban ones by means of using evolutionary distinctiveness (how unique are the species) of bird communities.(...)

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