You are here

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

TitleAnnual rhythms that underlie phenology: biological time-keeping meets environmental change
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsHelm, B, Ben-Shlomo, R, Sheriff, M, Hut, RA, Foster, R, Barnes, BM, Dominoni, D
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B
Volume280
Abstract

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

DOI10.1098/rspb.2013.0016
Username Tag: