Tardigrades in the city: A review of diversity patterns in response to urbanization

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delBarco-Trillo, Javier
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In different taxonomical groups, the number of species found in urban environments tends to decline compared to adjacent nonurban environments. It is unclear whether tardigrades also conform to this pattern of diversity decline in cities. Tardigrades are microscopic invertebrates which have been understudied, despite the fact that they are cosmopolitan and found in all types of habitats. Due to their capability to withstand extreme conditions, tardigrades should be able to successfully thrive in urban environments. Here, all available information about tardigrade diversity in cities was compiled. It was quantitatively determined that tardigrade diversity declines in urban areas compared to adjacent rural areas. Geographically, closer cities are also likely to harbor a more similar set of tardigrade species. In comparison to other groups like mammals and birds, there are no tardigrade species consistently found in most studied cities. In fact, most urban tardigrades have only been found in one single city. Ultimately, the species of tardigrades found in a given city will normally depend on the set of species already living in the adjacent native environments. One question that deserves further investigation is why only a subset of such native species is able to colonize the new environmental niches available in cities.
Diversity , Tardigrada , Tardigrades , Urban ecology , Urbanization
delBarco-Trillo, J. (2019) 'Tardigrades in the city: A review of diversity patterns in response to urbanization', Ecological Research, pp.1-7. doi: 10.1111/1440-1703.12055
© 2019 The Ecological Society of Japan. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: delBarco‐Trillo, J. 'Tardigrades in the city: A review of diversity patterns in response to urbanization', Ecological Research. 2019; 1– 7, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/1440-1703.12055 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.