Meeting Abstract

S7-1.4  Sunday, Jan. 6  Finding A Temporal Niche DE LA IGLESIA, Horacio O.; SMARR, B.*; University of Washington; University of Washington horaciod@uw.edu

Ecologists and physiologists are familiar with Hutchinson’s notion of ecological niche, the multidimensional space delineated by the range of resources in which a species survives and reproduces. Yet, few of us are used to include “time” among the critical orthogonal axes that define this multidimensional space. Recent studies have shown that the time allocation to specific physiological and behavioral functions is likely critical for survival. The pattern of activity of individuals in the wild can change dramatically and studies in our laboratory have shown that these “temporal niche switches” may be based in radically different physiological mechanisms. I will discuss the notion of temporal niche, the importance of temporal niche switching and present data on the underlying mechanisms determining the temporal niche of a species.