Wild clocks: integrating chronobiology and ecology to understand timekeeping in free-living animals
November 16, 2017

About this issue

The critical significance of biological timekeeping is becoming broadly recognized in society, but a deep understanding has been hindered by largely non-overlapping research of chronobiologists and ecologists. Chronobiologists have been analysing the mechanisms of internal timekeeping within organisms, especially on the daily (circadian) scale, and the responses of such "clocks" to light and darkness, whereas ecologists are centrally concerned with a holistic view of organisms in their natural environments.

This theme issue aims to bridge this dichotomy by bringing together ecologists and chronobiologists. Jointly, they synthesize a broad range of topics relating to patterns and mechanisms of biological time-keeping in the context of its natural setting. The theme issue seeks to highlight new advances and approaches that can address the interdependence of chronobiology and ecology, placing the "clock" as an integral part of adaptation, differentiation and evolution of organisms.

  • Wild clocks: preface and glossary
  • Two sides of a coin: ecological and chronobiological perspectives of timing in the wild
  • Methods in field chronobiology
  • Sleep research goes wild: new methods and approaches to investigate the ecology, evolution and functions of sleep
  • Flexible clock systems: adjusting the temporal programme
  • Seasonal reproductive tactics: annual timing and the capital-to-income breeder continuum
  • Keeping time without a spine: what can the insect clock teach us about seasonal adaptation?
  • Timing avian long-distance migration: from internal clock mechanisms to global flights
  • Timing as a sexually selected trait: the right mate at the right moment
  • Chronobiology of interspecific interactions in a changing world
  • Time is honey: circadian clocks of bees and flowers and how their interactions may influence ecological communities
  • Marine biorhythms: bridging chronobiology and ecology

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