How can physiology best contribute to wildlife conservation in a warming world?

Seebacher, Frank, Narayan, Edward, Rummer, Jodie L., Tomlinson, Sean, and Cooke, Steven J. (2023) How can physiology best contribute to wildlife conservation in a warming world? Conservation Physiology, 11 (1). coad038.

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Global warming is now predicted to exceed 1.5°C by 2033 and 2°C by the end of the 21st century. This level of warming and the associated environmental variability are already increasing pressure on natural and human systems. Here we emphasize the role of physiology in the light of the latest assessment of climate warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We describe how physiology can contribute to contemporary conservation programmes. We focus on thermal responses of animals, but we acknowledge that the impacts of climate change are much broader phylogenetically and environmentally. A physiological contribution would encompass environmental monitoring, coupled with measuring individual sensitivities to temperature change and upscaling these to ecosystem level. The latest version of the widely accepted Conservation Standards designed by the Conservation Measures Partnership includes several explicit climate change considerations. We argue that physiology has a unique role to play in addressing these considerations. Moreover, physiology can be incorporated by institutions and organizations that range from international bodies to national governments and to local communities, and in doing so, it brings a mechanistic approach to conservation and the management of biological resources.

Item ID: 79207
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2051-1434
Keywords: climate warming, Conservation Standards, environmental monitoring, food webs, plasticity, species distribution models, thermal sensitivity
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press and the Society for Experimental Biology. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP220101342
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2024 00:56
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310910 Animal physiology - systems @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 50%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1905 Understanding climate change > 190599 Understanding climate change not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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