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Abstract

We evaluate the extent to which physiological tolerances and capacities can be considered as factors that impact the geographic range of animals. We also discuss the importance of understanding how environmental variability interacts with physiological function, concluding with a consideration of how our understanding of physiology in a macroecological context may contribute to our ability to predict the effects of climate change. The extent to which advances have occurred in predicting geographic range through constructing and testing hypotheses involving tolerances, physiological capacities, and plasticity (namely pervasive plasticity, climatic variability, and the Brattstrom hypothesis) is evaluated. Finally, we attempt to integrate our understanding of the interaction between physiology and distribution within current global warming scenarios. We suggest that it may be necessary to evaluate patterns of physiological diversity as a function of different ecological regions oriented to produce mechanistic explanations regarding the likely new (or lack of) physiological responses of animals to altered climatic conditions along geographic ranges.

[Erratum, Closure]

An erratum has been published for this article:
Physiological Correlates of Geographic Range in Animals
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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-102710-145055
2011-12-01
2024-06-23
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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