Over the last 150 years, humans have wrought sweeping changes to the Great Plains. What was once the prairie is now the Corn Belt-row crops planted from fencerow to fencerow. What does this mean for the native wildlife, which evolved for millions of years to live only on the prairie? Here are the stories of three species-cliff swallows, western corn rootworms, and prairie deer mice-that natural selection has reshaped to thrive in the new agricultural landscape. With his finches, Charles Darwin read the record of evolution in the past. In the Corn Belt, today’s scientists can see evolution in real time.
Evolution in the Cornbelt: How a Few Special Species Are Adapting to Industrial Agriculture
In the Corn Belt, today’s scientists can see evolution in real time.