Conservation Implications and the Role of Stress Physiology
Species conservation has become a major topic of discussion for the public throughout the world. Although various groups have been concerned with species survival for centuries, the attempt to apply concepts from physiology is relatively recent. The specific application of stress physiology is more recent still. This chapter presents the theoretical basis for using stress physiology, discusses some of the problems where measurements of stress physiology have been applied, and concludes with a discussion of global climate change, where the application of stress physiology has just begun but is likely to prove fruitful. Comparative stress endocrinology has a major role to play here because neuroendocrine and endocrine control systems, in conjunction with direct neural regulation, are the major links between perception of environment and morphological, physiological, and behavioral responses. Understanding these links in the context of conservation concerns will be key to resolving variation in responsiveness to changing environments.
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