February 28th, 2014; 2:30 pm
"Ecological and Evolutionary Physiology of Salamanders at the Individual, Population, and Species Levels"
Dr. Matthew E. Gifford
Department of Biology
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Organisms interact with, and respond to, the environment through physiological changes. Therefore, spatial and temporal variation in environmental conditions often generates variation in organismal physiology that influences the distributions and abundances of species. In my laboratory we study how environmental heterogeneity influences patterns of physiological differentiation and how variation in physiology (or lack thereof) influences local and broad-scale ecological phenomena. I will discuss some recent and ongoing work examining physiological variation among individuals and species. Specifically, I will focus on how we have used this variation to understand the ecological and physiological factors governing salamander range limits and how interspecific variation in thermal physiology might help to explain broad-scale patterns of salamander species distributions.
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