Abstract - Phenotypic Variation in Physiological Response to Seasonal Environments

Blank, J.L. 1991. Phenotypic Variation in Physiological Response to Seasonal Environments. Mammalian Energetics:Interdisciplinary Views of Metabolism and Reproduction. Cornell University Press. 40 p.


This report is a draft submitted to be published by Cornell University Press in Mammalian Energetic: Interdisciplinary Views of Metabolism and Reproduction. Its goal is to evaluate how physiology constrains life history traits. This chapter attempts to demonstrate how the disparate approached of evolutionary biology and reproductive physiology each offer special advantages toward answerign questions concerning mammalian life history. Specifically, the chapter has three aims: "The first is to describe individual variation in reproductive and metabolic adjustments when deer mice are exposed to ambient conditions that mimic the winter environment. These data provide an analysis of the types of individual variation seen in the laboratory when animal produced from free-living parents are exposed to seasonally changing cues like photoperiod or ambient temperature. The second aim is to summarize current knowledge about the mechanistic basis for this variability. This analysis is reductionist and presented as a method for identifying the specific mechanisms that underlie phenotypic variation. The third aim is to discuss how different seasonal adjustments constrain the way in which an individual is able to respond to its enviroment. The overall purpose of all three aims is to demonstrate how physiological studies in the lab can lead to a better understanding of the determinates of mammalian life histories."

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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