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Causes and correlations of physiological variation: role of environmental and behavioral gradients at different levels of organization


Evolutionary physiology integrates comparative physiology, ecology, evolution and systematics, aiming to understand how the evolution of physiological characters occur. Given its integrative nature, evolutionary physiology has a leading role in the discussion about the nature of animal adaptation, and has influenced significantly recent research tendencies in comparative physiology. However, given that evolutionary physiology is both conceptually and methodologically young, many relevant questions remain to be answered. The nature of variation of physiological traits figures among the least understood essential issues, for comparative physiology has traditionally stressed central tendency while neglecting the discussion about variance. It is frequent, for example, that studies in comparative physiology consider individual variation, a key issue in the neo-Darwinian concept of evolution by natural selection, as part of the unexplained variance. However, to understand how physiology evolves, it is fundamental to understand the scope, origin, and implications of physiological variance, the relationship between this variance and animal ecology, and the role of different sources of variation at different levels of organization. This proposal focuses on the nature of physiological variance at different levels of organization, and its relationships with ecology, evolution and animal distribution. The project focuses on five general questions that are conceptually related, and that will be studied in the context of ecological and behavioral gradients. The emphasis on these gradients serves to limit the study to problems in which a solid interaction between physiology, ecology and evolution is evident. The main general questions to be addressed are: 1. What is the role of the interaction between physiology and behavior to extend the geographical ranges of ectotherm vertebrates?; 2. How does simultaneous physiological adaptation occur as an evolutionary response to more than one eco-behavioral variables?; 3. 15 physiological variance additive? 4. What are the ecological correIates of physiological variance in ectotherm vertebrates at different levels of organization?; 5. What is the scope of physiological plasticity and the factors responsible for morpho-physiological differentiation within genera and species in ectotherm vertebrates? We propose specific sub-projects that address, in specific contexts, the issues raised by each one of the main questions. Most, but not all sub-projects use ectotherm tetrapods as research models. Model selection was based mainly on adequacy to answer the question raised, but other factors such as previous experience of the main team and infrastructure already available were considered also. The proposal involves field and lab research, as well as theoretical considerations. When necessary, formal comparative analyses will be applied. (AU)

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Scientific publications (12)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PRATES, IVAN; ANGILLETA, JR., MICHAEL J.; WILSON, ROBBIE S.; NIEHAUS, AMANDA C.; NAVAS, CARLOS A. Dehydration Hardly Slows Hopping Toads (Rhinella granulosa) from Xeric and Mesic Environments. PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL ZOOLOGY, v. 86, n. 4, p. 451-457, JUL-AUG 2013. Web of Science Citations: 8.
DE ASSIS, VANIA REGINA; NAVAS, CARLOS ARTURO; MENDONCA, MARY T.; GOMES, FERNANDO RIBEIRO. Vocal and territorial behavior in the Smith frog (Hypsiboas faber): Relationships with plasma levels of corticosterone and testosterone. COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY A-MOLECULAR & INTEGRATIVE PHYSIOLOGY, v. 163, n. 3-4, p. 265-271, NOV 2012. Web of Science Citations: 16.
KOHLSDORF, T.; NAVAS, C. Evolution of form and function: morphophysiological relationships and locomotor performance in tropidurine lizards. JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, v. 288, n. 1, p. 41-49, SEP 2012. Web of Science Citations: 9.
BRANDT, RENATA; NAVAS, CARLOS A. Life-History Evolution on Tropidurinae Lizards: Influence of Lineage, Body Size and Climate. PLoS One, v. 6, n. 5 MAY 13 2011. Web of Science Citations: 25.
GRIZANTE, M. B.; NAVAS, C. A.; GARLAND, JR., T.; KOHLSDORF, T. Morphological evolution in Tropidurinae squamates: an integrated view along a continuum of ecological settings. JOURNAL OF EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, v. 23, n. 1, p. 98-111, JAN 2010. Web of Science Citations: 22.
PRATES, IVAN; NAVAS, CARLOS A. Cutaneous Resistance to Evaporative Water Loss in Brazilian Rhinella (Anura: Bufonidae) from Contrasting Environments. Copeia, n. 3, p. 618-622, SEP 3 2009. Web of Science Citations: 18.
RODRIGUEZ-SERRANO, ENRIQUE; NAVAS, CARLOS A.; BOZINOVIC, FRANCISCO. The comparative field body temperature among Liolaemus lizards: Testing the static and the labile hypotheses. Journal of Thermal Biology, v. 34, n. 6, p. 306-309, AUG 2009. Web of Science Citations: 21.
GOMES, F. R.; REZENDE, E. L.; GRIZANTE, M. B.; NAVAS, C. A. The evolution of jumping performance in anurans: morphological correlates and ecological implications. JOURNAL OF EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, v. 22, n. 5, p. 1088-1097, MAY 2009. Web of Science Citations: 47.
KISS, ANA CAROLINA I.; DE CARVALHO, JOSE EDUARDO; NAVAS, CARLOS A.; GOMES, FERNANDO R. Seasonal metabolic changes in a year-round reproductively active subtropical tree-frog (Hypsiboas prasinus). COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY A-MOLECULAR & INTEGRATIVE PHYSIOLOGY, v. 152, n. 2, p. 182-188, FEB 2009. Web of Science Citations: 14.
RIBEIRO, PEDRO LEITE; NAVAS, CARLOS A. Colony dehydration and water collection by specialized caste in the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa. Journal of Insect Behavior, v. 21, n. 6, p. 549-558, NOV 2008. Web of Science Citations: 5.
NAVAS‚ C.A.; CHAUÍ-BERLINCK‚ J.G. Respiratory physiology of high-altitude anurans: 55 years of research on altitude and oxygen. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, v. 158, n. 2, p. 307-313, 2007.
KOHLSDORF‚ T.; NAVAS‚ C.A. Ecological constraints on the evolutionary association between field and preferred temperatures in Tropidurinae lizards. EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY, v. 20, n. 6, p. 549-564, 2006.

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