Jump to: navigation, search

Ecophysiology or environmental physiology is a biological discipline which studies the adaptation of organism's physiology to environmental conditions. It is closely related to comparative physiology and evolutionary physiology.

Ecophysiology of plants

Template:Sect-stub Plant ecophysiology is concerned largely with two topics: mechanisms (how plants sense and respond to environmental change) and scaling or integration (how the responses to highly variable conditions -- for example, gradients from full sunlight to 95% shade within tree canopies -- are coordinated with one another, and how their collective effect on plant growth and gas exchange can be understood on this basis.

In many cases, animals are able to escape unfavourable and changing environmental factors such as heat, cold, drought, or floods, while generally plants are unable to move away and therefor must endure the adverse conditions or perish. Some plants have an impressive array of genes which aid in adapting to changing conditions. It is hypothesized that this large number of genes can be partly explained by plant species' need to adapt to a wider range of conditions.

Ecophysiology of animals

George A. Bartholomew (1919-2006) was a founder of animal physiological ecology. He served on the faculty at UCLA from 1947 to 1989, and almost 1,200 individuals can trace their academic lineages to him [1]. Knut Schmidt-Nielsen (1915-2007) was also an important contributor to this specific scientific field as well as comparative physiology.


Further reading

  • Bennett, A. F. (2005). "The academic genealogy of George A. Bartholomew". Integrative and Comparative Biology. 45 (2): 231–233. ISSN 1540-7063. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  • Bradshaw, Sidney Donald (2003). Vertebrate ecophysiology: an introduction to its principles and applications. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. pp. xi + 287 pp. ISBN 0-521-81797-8.
  • Calow, P. (1987). Evolutionary physiological ecology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 239 pp. ISBN 0-521-32058-5.
  • Lambers, H. (1998). Plant physiological ecology. New York: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 0-387-98326-0.
  • Larcher, W. (2001). Physiological plant ecology (4th ed.). Springer. ISBN 3-540-43516-6.
  • McNab, B. K. (2002). The physiological ecology of vertebrates: a view from energetics. Ithaca and London: Comstock Publishing Associates. pp. xxvii + 576 pp. ISBN 0-8014-3913-2.
  • Sibly, R. M. (1986). Physiological ecology of animals: an evolutionary approach. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications. pp. 179 pp. ISBN 0-632-01494-6. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  • Spicer, J. I., and K. J. Gaston. 1999. Physiological diversity and its ecological implications. Blackwell Science, Oxford, U.K. x + 241 pp.
  • Tracy, C. R. (1982). "What is physiological ecology?". Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America (Bull. Ecol. Soc. Am.). 63: 340–347. ISSN 0012-9623. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help). Definitions and Opinions by: G. A. Bartholomew, A. F. Bennett, W. D. Billings, B. F. Chabot, D. M. Gates, B. Heinrich, R. B. Huey, D. H. Janzen, J. R. King, P. A. McClure, B. K. McNab, P. C. Miller, P. S. Nobel, B. R. Strain.

See also