Annual rhythms that underlie phenology: biological time-keeping meets environmental change

Helm, B., Ben Shlomo, R., Sheriff, M. J., Hut, R. A., Foster, R., Barnes, B. M. and Dominoni, D. (2013) Annual rhythms that underlie phenology: biological time-keeping meets environmental change. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 280(1765), p. 20130016. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.0016)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.0016

Abstract

Seasonal recurrence of biological processes (phenology) and its relationship to environmental change is recognized as being of key scientific and public concern, but its current study largely overlooks the extent to which phenology is based on biological time-keeping mechanisms. We highlight the relevance of physiological and neurobiological regulation for organisms’ responsiveness to environmental conditions. Focusing on avian and mammalian examples, we describe circannual rhythmicity of reproduction, migration and hibernation, and address responses of animals to photic and thermal conditions. Climate change and urbanization are used as urgent examples of anthropogenic influences that put biological timing systems under pressure. We furthermore propose that consideration of Homo sapiens as principally a ‘seasonal animal’ can inspire new perspectives for understanding medical and psychological problems.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dominoni, Dr Davide and Helm, Dr Barbara
Authors: Helm, B., Ben Shlomo, R., Sheriff, M. J., Hut, R. A., Foster, R., Barnes, B. M., and Dominoni, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8452
ISSN (Online):1471-2954
Published Online:03 July 2013

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