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DEPE | Séminaires BEEPSS / BEEPSS Seminars » Urban environmental stress: The challenges of integrating toxicology, (...)

Urban environmental stress: The challenges of integrating toxicology, nutrition & oxidative stress into life-history biology of wild populations

Last update: : Friday 16 October 2015, by Nicolas Busser

Par : Caroline Isaksson, Lund University
Date : Jeudi 22 octobre 2015 à 13h30
Lieu : Amphithéâtre Marguerite Perey, bâtiment 01

Ass Prof Caroline Isaksson
Evolutionary Ecology unit/ Lund University

Urbanisation is, next to global warming, the largest threat to biodiversity and the health of wildlife. Apart from the obvious problem of habitat loss and fragmentation for urban-dwelling species, urban environment is associated with a number of environmental stresses (e.g., chemical pollution, artificial light at night and noise) which urban species need to deal with. One key component for dealing with environmental stress is the antioxidant system, since many stresses either directly or indirectly increases the internal levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) – a state commonly referred to as oxidative stress. A high oxidative stress leads to increased generation of oxidative damages to lipids, proteins and/or DNA, which is linked to pre-mature ageing and increased susceptibility to develop severe diseases, which ultimately affect fitness and well-being. Here I will take the “temperature” on terrestrial animals living in the urban environment. Do we have a ticking bomb? Can we expect differences between different species living in the urban environment? What determines the capacity of the antioxidant response, genetics or environment? In addition, I will use the common European species – the great tit (Parus major) as an example to show on the impact of urbanization, physiological complexity, and the role of nutrition. Finally, I will give my view on current pitfalls in the field and future directions – what do we need to know about urban wildlife to secure urban biodiversity for generations to come while urbanisation continues to grow?