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Physiological capacities and resilience facing climate change: exploring the functional dimension in ectothermic vertebrates

Grant number: 21/10910-0
Support type:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: August 01, 2022 - July 31, 2027
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Physiology of Recent Groups
Principal researcher:Kênia Cardoso Bícego
Grantee:Kênia Cardoso Bícego
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil
Pesquisadores principais:
Denis Otavio Vieira de Andrade
Assoc. researchers: Adrian Antonio Garda ; Charles Loren Buck ; Johannes Lerchner ; Jean-François Le Galliard ; Lucas Aparecido Zena ; Marcos Túlio de Oliveira ; Marina Rincon Sartori ; Rafael Parelli Bovo ; Rodrigo Samuel Bueno Gavira ; Sidney Feitosa Gouveia ; Tiago Santana Balbuena

Abstract

Temperature and availability of water and food profoundly affect the physiology, behavior and ecology of animals, especially ectotherms. Climate variability exposes them to considerable changes in the thermal, water and food configuration of the environment at both geographic and temporal scales. Thus, the successful occupation and maintenance of viable populations in different habitats over time are inextricably linked to the functional dimension of organisms, with special emphasis on water balance, energy demands and thermal physiology. In scenarios where environmental variations exceed tolerance and/or capacity for physiological adjustments, this can lead to deleterious consequences for fitness, with extirpation of local populations and, eventually, species extinction. In contrast, such climate changes may favor the expansion of those species with greater phenotypic plasticity, which may bring potential ecological risks in previously unoccupied areas where they act as invasive populations. Even though this scenario has given rise to a large number of correlative studies primarily focused on changing environmental variables delimited by areas of occurrence, attempts, especially in Brazil, to incorporate functional components into these assessments are rare. This approach is fundamental and urgent, as different species, with different physiological attributes, will present different vulnerabilities and tolerances to the same degree of environmental disturbance. Thus, this project aims to address the functional dimension of ectothermic vertebrates, especially amphibians and reptiles, investigating physiological capacities and tolerances related to different water and thermal balances and energy demands and how such attributes are related to the occupation of habitats and their variations both spatial and temporal (seasonal) in the present and even projected in future scenarios of anthropogenic climate change. (AU)

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