UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurology

Publication Date

10-22-2015

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Environmental Studies | Neuroscience and Neurobiology

Abstract

The rhythm of life on earth is shaped by seasonal changes in the environment. Plants and animals show profound annual cycles in physiology, health, morphology, behaviour and demography in response to environmental cues. Seasonal biology impacts ecosystems and agriculture, with consequences for humans and biodiversity. Human populations show robust annual rhythms in health and well-being, and the birth month can have lasting effects that persist throughout life. This review emphasizes the need for a better understanding of seasonal biology against the backdrop of its rapidly progressing disruption through climate change, human lifestyles and other anthropogenic impact. Climate change is modifying annual rhythms to which numerous organisms have adapted, with potential consequences for industries relating to health, ecosystems and food security. Disconcertingly, human lifestyles under artificial conditions of eternal summer provide the most extreme example for disconnect from natural seasons, making humans vulnerable to increased morbidity and mortality. In this review, we introduce scenarios of seasonal disruption, highlight key aspects of seasonal biology and summarize from biomedical, anthropological, veterinary, agricultural and environmental perspectives the recent evidence for seasonal desynchronization between environmental factors and internal rhythms. Because annual rhythms are pervasive across biological systems, they provide a common framework for trans-disciplinary research.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Proc Biol Sci. 2015 Oct 22;282(1817). pii: 20151453. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.1453. Link to article on publisher's site

DOI of Published Version

10.1098/rspb.2015.1453

Comments

Full author list omitted for brevity. For the full list of authors, see article.

Copyright 2015 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Keywords

annual, biological rhythm, circannual, desynchrony, fitness, one-health

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society

PubMed ID

26468242

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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