Meeting Abstract

S6-2.3  Sunday, Jan. 6  Integrating stress physiology with quantitative evolutionary models to predict population responses to environmental change: An amphibian perspective CRESPI, Erica J.*; WARNE, Robin W.; LEDON-RETTIG, Cristina C.; Washington State University; Southern Illinois University; North Carolina State University

The allostatic load and reactive scope conceptual models provide a rubric for integrating neuroendocrine stress axis activity with intrinsic and extrinsic factors within a life history; however the challenge ahead is to design studies that test specific ecological and evolutionary hypotheses with physiological data. Therefore, we need to take concepts generated by either allostatic load or reactive scope models one step further to determine how relationships between glucocorticoids and fitness (survival or reproduction) impact evolutionary and population dynamics with the use of demographic, epidemiological and quantitative genetic models. These models can also be used in a predictive way to assess which life history traits we should be focusing on when relating the impact of GCs on life history traits to project population-level effects (e.g., use of parameter elasticities within demographic models). Here, we describe three studies of amphibians that have used quantitative models that explicitly examine the influence of glucocorticoids (in response to environmental stress) in 1) the process of evolutionary adaptation, 2) projecting disease dynamics, and 3) predicting population dynamics. In all three contexts, these models provided a framework in which individual-level stress responses can be scaled up to population-level assessments of stress in order to address broader biological questions. Future collaborations among environmental endocrinologists and evolutionary and population biologists will facilitate the integration of stress physiology into the fields of population biology, evolutionary ecology, and conservation biology.