Physiological Responses to Shifts in Multiple Environmental Stressors: Relevance in a Changing World

Integr Comp Biol. 2013 Oct;53(4):539-44. doi: 10.1093/icb/ict086. Epub 2013 Jul 26.


Population response to global change will depend on responses to a multivariate set of changes in abiotic habitat characteristics and biotic interactions. Organismal biologists seeking to make ecological inferences about the impacts of global change by studying physiological performance have traditionally performed carefully controlled experimental studies that examine one variable at a time. Those studies, while of high value, may not lead to accurate predictions of organismal responses in the natural habitat, where organisms experience concomitant changes in multiple environmental factors. The symposium "Physiological Responses to Simultaneous Shifts in Multiple Environmental Stressors: Relevance in a Changing World" focused on physiological studies in which multiple environmental variables were simultaneously examined and brought together an international group of early-career and established speakers with unique perspectives on studies of multistressors. In doing so, the objective of the symposium was to frame the necessary next steps for increasing predictive capacity of organismal responses to environmental shifts in the natural habitat, establish novel collaborations among researchers actively investigating physiological responses to a multivariate environment, and broaden the number of researchers conducting such studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Climate Change*
  • Ecosystem*
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Models, Biological*
  • Species Specificity
  • Stress, Physiological / physiology*