Cities power evolutionary divergence by accelerating metabolic rate and locomotor performance.
In collaboration with scientists Dr. Lacy D. Chick and Sarah E. Diamond at Case Western Reserve University, we recently published a paper reporting a difference in how urban and rural ant metabolic rates respond to changes in temperature.
The theory of metabolic cold adaptation suggests that ants adapted to warmer environments (like cities) should exhibit lower metabolic rates than ants adapted to cooler (eg rural) environments. Testing this with acorn ant colonies from urban and rural environments, we surprisingly found evidence for the contrary, that the urban ants had higher metabolic rates and were generally less sensitive to changes in temperature!
Check out the full paper here:
Chick, L.D., Waters, J.S. and Diamond, S.E., 2021. Pedal to the metal: Cities power evolutionary divergence by accelerating metabolic rate and locomotor performance. Evolutionary applications, 14(1), pp.36-52.