Biological Clocks and!Rhythms in Polar Organisms


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Bettina.Meyer [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Biological clocks are universal to all living organisms on Earth. Their ubiquity is testament to their importance to life: from cells to organs and from the simplest cyanobacteria to plants and primates, they are central to orchestrating life on this planet. Biological clocks are usually set by the day–night cycle, so what happens in polar regions during the Polar Night or Polar Day when there are periods of 24! hours of darkness or light? How would a biological clock function without a timekeeper!cycle? This chapter details evidence that biological clocks are central to structuring daily and seasonal activities in organisms at high latitudes. Importantly, despite a strongly reduced or absent day–night cycle, biological clocks in the Polar Night still appear to be regulated by background illumination. Here we explore evidence for highly cyclic activity, from behaviour patterns to clock gene expression, in copepods, krill and bivalves. The ultimate goal will be to understand the role of endogenous clocks in driving important daily and seasonal life cycle functions and to determine scope for plasticity in a rapidly changing environment.



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Inbook
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Peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Eprint ID
52190
DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-33208-2

Cite as
Last, K. S. , Häfker, N. S. , Hendrick, V. , Meyer, B. , Tran, D. and Piccolin, F. (2020): Biological Clocks and!Rhythms in Polar Organisms / J. Berge , G. Johnson and J. Cohen (editors) , In: Polar Night Marine Ecology_ Life and Light in the Dead of Night, Advances in Polar Ecology, Switzerland, Springer, ISBN: 978-3-030-33208-2 . doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-33208-2


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