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Human-made evolution

Human beings influence their environment in many ways. Through our actions we change habitats and complete ecosystems, the climate and compositions of biocoenoses. Purposefully, for example through breeding and genetic engineering, but mostly unintendedly, for example through climate change, we create new selection pressures on the organisms of our planet. The evolutionary consequences of our actions are often serious and difficult to predict. The abuse of antibiotics and pesticides causes resistances in organisms and selective hunting causes changes in the physical structure of the body and the behavior of the hunted animals. The eradication of species as well as the worldwide displacement of species cause continuous change of local biocoenoses and the ecological and evolutionary consequences of these changes cannot be estimated so far. It is an important issue for us to become aware of the consequences of our actions and the resulting responsibility because today there may be hardly any organisms on earth which are not influenced by human beings in some way or other.

Biological information

Teaching material

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Canopé Ludwig Maximilians Universität München Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Westfälische Wilhelms Universität Münster