Urbanisation generates multiple trait syndromes for terrestrial animal taxa worldwide

Amy K. Hahs*, Bertrand Fournier*, Myla F.J. Aronson, Charles H. Nilon, Adriana Herrera-Montes, Allyson B. Salisbury, Caragh G. Threlfall, Christine C. Rega-Brodsky, Christopher A. Lepczyk, Frank A. La Sorte, Ian MacGregor-Fors, J. Scott macivor, Kirsten Jung, Max R. Piana, Nicholas S.G. Williams, Sonja Knapp, Alan Vergnes, Aldemar A. Acevedo, Alison M. Gainsbury, Ana RainhoAndrew J. Hamer, Assaf Shwartz, Christian C. Voigt, Daniel Lewanzik, David M. Lowenstein, David O’Brien, Desiree Tommasi, Eduardo Pineda, Ela Sita Carpenter, Elena Belskaya, Gábor L. Lövei, James C. Makinson, Joanna L. Coleman, Jon P. Sadler, Jordan Shroyer, Julie Teresa Shapiro, Katherine C. R. Baldock, Kelly Ksiazek-Mikenas, Kevin C. Matteson, Kyle Barrett, Lizette Siles, Luis F. Aguirre, Luis Orlando Armesto, Marcin Zalewski, Maria Isabel Herrera-Montes, Martin K. Obrist, Rebecca K. Tonietto, Sara A. Gagné, Sarah J. Hinners, Tanya Latty, Thilina D. Surasinghe, Thomas Sattler, Tibor Magura, Werner Ulrich, Zoltan Elek, Jennifer Castañeda-Oviedo, Ricardo Torrado, D. Johan Kotze, Marco Moretti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Cities can host significant biological diversity. Yet, urbanisation leads to the loss of habitats, species, and functional groups. Understanding how multiple taxa respond to urbanisation globally is essential to promote and conserve biodiversity in cities. Using a dataset encompassing six terrestrial faunal taxa (amphibians, bats, bees, birds, carabid beetles and reptiles) across 379 cities on 6 continents, we show that urbanisation produces taxon-specific changes in trait composition, with traits related to reproductive strategy showing the strongest response. Our findings suggest that urbanisation results in four trait syndromes (mobile generalists, site specialists, central place foragers, and mobile specialists), with resources associated with reproduction and diet likely driving patterns in traits associated with mobility and body size. Functional diversity measures showed varied responses, leading to shifts in trait space likely driven by critical resource distribution and abundance, and taxon-specific trait syndromes. Maximising opportunities to support taxa with different urban trait syndromes should be pivotal in conservation and management programmes within and among cities. This will reduce the likelihood of biotic homogenisation and helps ensure that urban environments have the capacity to respond to future challenges. These actions are critical to reframe the role of cities in global biodiversity loss.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4751
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2023

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