Last update: : Monday 19 October 2015, by
Par : Rebecca Rimbach, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Date : Jeudi 12 novembre 2015 à 13h30
Lieu : IPHC, Amphithéâtre Grünewald, bâtiment 25
Individuals that show phenotypic flexibility can adjust their physiological, morphological and/or behavioral traits to the current environmental conditions. It is expected that phenotypically flexible individuals are more likely to survive the consequences of unpredictable climatic events, such as reduced food availability. Because the availability of food resources restricts both survival and reproduction, the ability to reduce energy expenditure is a key adaptation during periods of food shortage. Individuals can reduce their energy expenditure by means of behavioral modifications and/or by reducing their basal metabolism. The aim of my postdoc project is to investigate how individuals adjust their energy expenditure during periods of low food availability. In order to provide a comprehensive understanding of the underlying processes of physiological adaptation to low food availability, I combined behavioral observations (to determine activity budgets) with data on daily energy expenditure, resting metabolic rate, thyroid hormone levels and ketone body concentrations of a model organism, the African striped mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio). Here, I will present some preliminary results on seasonal differences in behavioral activity, resting metabolic rate, blood glucose levels and ketone body concentrations.