What is conservation physiology? Perspectives on an increasingly integrated and essential science

Cooke, Steven J., Sack, Lawren, Franklin, Craig E., Farrell, Anthony P., Beardall, John, Wileski, Martin and Chown, Steven L. (2013) What is conservation physiology? Perspectives on an increasingly integrated and essential science. Conservation Physiology, 1 1: . doi:10.1093/conphys/cot001

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Author Cooke, Steven J.
Sack, Lawren
Franklin, Craig E.
Farrell, Anthony P.
Beardall, John
Wileski, Martin
Chown, Steven L.
Title What is conservation physiology? Perspectives on an increasingly integrated and essential science
Journal name Conservation Physiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2051-1434
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/conphys/cot001
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 1
Issue 1
Total pages 23
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Subject 1314 Physiology
2302 Ecological Modelling
2309 Nature and Landscape Conservation
2308 Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Abstract Globally, ecosystems and their constituent flora and fauna face the localized and broad-scale influence of human activities. Conservation practitioners and environmental managers struggle to identify and mitigate threats, reverse species declines, restore degraded ecosystems, and manage natural resources sustainably. Scientific research and evidence are increasingly regarded as the foundation for new regulations, conservation actions, and management interventions. Conservation biologists and managers have traditionally focused on the characteristics (e.g. abundance, structure, trends) of populations, species, communities, and ecosystems, and simple indicators of the responses to environmental perturbations and other human activities. However, an understanding of the specific mechanisms underlying conservation problems is becoming increasingly important for decision-making, in part because physiological tools and knowledge are especially useful for developing cause-and-effect relationships, and for identifying the optimal range of habitats and stressor thresholds for different organisms. When physiological knowledge is incorporated into ecological models, it can improve predictions of organism responses to environmental change and provide tools to support management decisions. Without such knowledge, we may be left with simple associations. 'Conservation physiology' has been defined previously with a focus on vertebrates, but here we redefine the concept universally, for application to the diversity of taxa from microbes to plants, to animals, and to natural resources. We also consider 'physiology' in the broadest possible terms; i.e. how an organism functions, and any associated mechanisms, from development to bioenergetics, to environmental interactions, through to fitness. Moreover, we consider conservation physiology to include a wide range of applications beyond assisting imperiled populations, and include, for example, the eradication of invasive species, refinement of resource management strategies to minimize impacts, and evaluation of restoration plans. This concept of conservation physiology emphasizes the basis, importance, and ecological relevance of physiological diversity at a variety of scales. Real advances in conservation and resource management require integration and inter-disciplinarity. Conservation physiology and its suite of tools and concepts is a key part of the evidence base needed to address pressing environmental challenges.
Keyword Biodiversity Conservation
Environmental Sciences
Biodiversity & Conservation
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Inaugural paper for Conservation Physiology.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 123 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 20 Feb 2014, 02:49:04 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences