Seasons of Life: The Biological Rhythms that Enable Living Things to Thrive and Survive

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Yale University Press, 2009 - 303 páginas

Just as daily events are timed by living creatures through circadian rhythms, so seasonal events are timed through an internal calendar that signals birds to return to nesting grounds, salmon to spawn, plants to flower, squirrels to hibernate, kelp to stop growing.

In this fascinating book, Russell G. Foster and Leon Kreitzman draw on remarkable recent scientific advances to explain how seasonal change affects organisms, and how plants and animals over countless generations have evolved exquisite sensitivities and adaptations to the seasons. The authors also highlight the impact of seasonal change on human health and well-being. They conclude with a discussion of the dangers posed when climate changes disrupt the seasonal rhythms on which so much life depends.

Surprising facts from Seasons of Life:

–The timing of human birth has a small but significant effect on various later life attributes, such as handedness and the susceptibility to many illnesses, including multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia.

–Plants have the ability to measure the length of a period of light, and they germinate, flower, and successfully reproduce by using this information.

–Birds migrate not in response to weather changes but by using an internal calendar.

–Until recently, human birth was tightly coupled to the seasons, peaking in many societies in the spring.

–Just as internal 24-hour circadian clocks predict daily change, many animals have a circannual clock in their brains that predicts the seasons.

 

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Reseña de usuario  - elliepotten - LibraryThing

Foster and Kreitzman's first book, Rhythms of Life, explained the importance of the circadian, or daily, rhythms that animals and plants live by. This second venture shifts the time span outwards and ... Leer reseña completa

Índice

Introduction
1
1 The generation of the seasons
8
2 Adapting to seasonal change
24
3 Anticipating seasonal change in plants
38
4 Seasonal reproduction in mammals and birds
64
hibernation and diapause
93
6 Timing migration
120
7 Seasons and human evolution
141
10 Disease and seasonal timing
181
11 Seasonal affective disorder
199
12 The seasonality of dying
218
13 We are all phenology freaks now
232
Glossary of common terms
244
Appendix I
250
References
252
Index
281

8 Timing reproduction in humans
151
9 Birth month effects
169

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Sobre el autor (2009)

Russell Foster is Professor of Circadian Neuroscience at the University of Oxford and a leading expert on the neuroscience of biological time. He was recently elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. Leon Kreitzman is a science writer and broadcaster, a widely respected futurologist, and author of The 24 Hour Society. The authors live in Oxford and London.

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