Seasonality: Biological time keeping meets environmental change

Hut, R., 1-Sep-2016, In : Journal of Sleep Research. 25, S1, p. 21-22 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractAcademic

Objectives: The ratio between day and night varies across the year and its annual amplitude increases with latitude. As a result, seasonal variation, which operates over the very slow time-scale of months, in temperature and food availability, increases with latitude. We can thus expect latitudinal adaptation in major biological processes involving timing of reproduction, metabolic balance, circadian organization, and sensory adaptation. Methods: Here we will showcase latitudinal clines from different species to demonstrate evolutionary adaptation at different levels of organization. Results: Evolutionary selection force on timing of reproduction is usually very strong because it involves a primary fitness component. Photoperiodism driving the reproductive axis is under circadian control (near 24-h) and thus circadian properties like phase of entrainment and period are expected to be under strong selection pressure. Conclusions: Our data indicate latitudinal adaptation in circadian properties from insects and humans. Latitudinal variation may thus comprise is a powerful tool to investigate mechanisms underscoring circadian organization and photoperiodic responses and to unveil selective forces responsible for daily and seasonal adaptations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-22
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 1-Sep-2016
Event23rd Congress of the European Sleep Research Society - Bologna, Italy
Duration: 13-Sep-201616-Sep-2016


23rd Congress of the European Sleep Research Society


Bologna, Italy

Event: Conference


  • environmental change, evolutionary adaptation, human, insect, nonhuman, photoperiodicity, reproduction, seasonal variation, species

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