Oct 11, 2017

Two sides of a coin: ecological and chronobiological perspectives of timing in the wild

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Barbara HelmGuy Bloch

Abstract

Most processes within organisms, and most interactions between organisms and their environment, have distinct time profiles. The temporal coordination of such processes is crucial across levels of biological organization, but disciplines differ widely in their approaches to study timing. Such differences are accentuated between ecologists, who are centrally concerned with a holistic view of an organism in relation to its external environment, and chronobiologists, who emphasize internal timekeeping within an organism and the mechanisms of its adjustment to the environment. We argue that ecological and chronobiological perspectives are complementary, and that studies at the intersection will enable both fields to jointly overcome obstacles that currently hinder progress. However, to achieve this integration, we first have to cross some conceptual barriers, clarifying prohibitively inaccessible terminologies. We critically assess main assumptions and concepts in either field, as well as their common interests. Both approaches intersect in their need to understand the extent and regulation of temporal plasticity, and in the concept of 'chronotype', i.e. the characteristic temporal properties of individuals which are the targets of...Continue Reading

  • References159
  • Citations10

References

  • References159
  • Citations10

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Study
Research
Oscillators, Biological
Regulation of Biological Process
Environment
Neuronal Plasticity
Organism
Approach
Circadian Rhythms
Chronobiology (Occupation)

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