Call for papers: behavioral ecology of anthropogenic change

As there are no ecosystems left in the world which are not affected by human activities, organisms have to either adapt to those changes, move on to less-affected areas or risk extinction. Behavioural responses are typically faster than genetic, evolutionary adaptations and we therefore expect changes in behaviour to be prominent in response to anthropogenic changes. For instance song adjustment by urban birds, originally highlighted by Slabbekoorn in 2003, has become a prolific area of research. What is less clear, however, is the extent to which such behavioural changes are true adaptations involving genetic differences, say, between urban and rural habitats (see Partecke & Gwinner 2007), or whether they are due to behavioural plasticity. 

This theme issue aims to bring clarity to this using examples from different ecological contexts and taxa, together with evaluating the relation between phenotypic plasticity, including cognitive processes, and Darwinian adaptation in the context of anthropogenic disturbance.


Partecke, J., Gwinner, E. 2007. Increased sedentariness in European blackbirds following urbanization: a consequence of local adaptation? Ecology 88(4), 882-890. https://doi.org/10.1890/06-1105

Slabbekoorn, H., Peet, M. 2003. Birds sing at a higher pitch in urban noise. Nature 424, 267. https://doi.org/10.1038/424267a


Guest Editors:

Caitlin Gabor
Jan Lindstrom
Constantino MacĂ­as Garcia


The submission deadline is June 30th 2021.