Around the world the development and growth of cities and towns are having a significant impact on local and global biodiversity. There is growing interest in the adaptation of nonhuman organisms to urban environments, and we distinguish between the concepts of adaptation and adaptedness. Most of these studies have focused on animals, especially birds. Commonly recorded responses to urban environments include regulatory and acclimatory responses involving changes in behavior, communication, and physiology. Developmental responses tend to be morphological in nature but can also involve cultural learning. There is growing evidence of microevolutionary changes associated with adaptive responses to urban environments. This review also highlights the urgent need to refine the terminology currently used to describe the adaptation of organisms to urban environments in order to improve scientific understanding and more effectively identify and communicate the actions required to create biodiversity- and adaptation-friendly cities and towns for the future.


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