Human-induced evolution: Signatures, processes and mechanisms underneath anthropogenic footprints on natural systems

Miguel Baltazar-Soares, Kristien I. Brans, Christophe Eizaguirre

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

4 Citations (Scopus)


The impact of human activities on the global environment has increased to such an extent that the current geological era has been coined the Anthropocene. Studies dedicated to understanding the evolutionary consequences of human-induced selection on all levels of diversity (species, populations, traits, genes) provide direct knowledge about the mechanisms underlying species' responses and their evolutionary potential. A better understanding of the effects of human-induced selection is needed to leverage evolved mechanisms to develop appropriate conservation programmes to guarantee the maintenance of healthy systems. In this special issue, we focus on different types of human-mediated selection pressures, from the direct harvesting of individuals (e.g. hunting, fishing), to the more pervasive effects of climate change. Contributions highlight the diversity of human-induced selection pressures ranging from fisheries, trophy-hunting, poaching and domestication to climate change, and pollution. With those, we question whether there are parallel evolutionary solutions across fisheries systems, whether hunting pressures alter population dynamics and population structure, and whether climate change is an evolutionary dead-end. The contributions reflect the direction of travel of the field and the solutions to mitigate the impact of human activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2335-2341
Number of pages7
JournalEvolutionary Applications
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank all of those who contributed to the symposium “Human-induced evolution” at the ESEB2019. We would also like to thank the Evolutionary Applications editorial team, in particular Prof. Louis Bernatchez, for the opportunity to compile relevant contributions to the field into a Special Issue.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Evolutionary Applications published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • behaviour
  • genetics and epigenetics
  • human-induced evolution
  • life history traits


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