Anthropocene Traps

The concept of evolutionary traps has been used almost exclusively for studying how non-human species respond to cues in anthropogenic environments [24–34]. Key examples include artificial human lights attracting insects, island species responding naively to the presence of introduced predators, and seabirds not being able to discriminate between the cues of marine plankton and marine plastics [34–36] (figure 1a). In the context of humans, evolutionary mismatch is a much more frequently used term compared with traps, especially in fields like evolutionary psychology and evolutionary medicine [38]. The differences in terminology between non-humans and humans could have two inadvertent consequences. First, the disuse of evolutionary traps in studies of human behaviour might inadvertently have prevented a deeper interrogation of the behavioural cues that maintain traps in human systems. Second, given how broadly used the concepts of traps are in systems-oriented sustainability science, such as social–ecological systems research, it might inadvertently have slowed down the interdisciplinary integration between evolutionary and sustainability sciences.

In classic evolutionary traps, organisms exhibit a preference for behaviour that lowers biological fitness through either survival or reproduction [33] (figure 1a, left). Applying the concept of evolutionary traps to humans immediately faces the challenge that humans are a highly cultural species with multi-level societies. It therefore requires an expanded concept that includes cultural and multi-level dynamics, with attention to key human capacities such as sense-making, reflexivity, forward-looking and anticipation [39].



Folksonomies: evolution maladaptation

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 Evolution of the polycrisis: Anthropocene traps that challenge global sustainability
Periodicals>Journal Article:  Jansen, Jørgensen, Daniel I. Avila, Lan, Donges, Österblom, Olsson, Nyström, Lade, Hahn, Folke, Peterson, Crépin (13 November 2023), Evolution of the polycrisis: Anthropocene traps that challenge global sustainability, Royal Society, Retrieved on 2023-12-23
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  • Folksonomies: evolution maladaptation