Research objectives and content
Recent studies of pineal gland activity at 700N suggests that Arctic animals might have adapted their timekeeping mechanism to the special light conditions of high latitudes. We hypothise that animals living at high latitudes do not have an endogenous clock. Instead, their activity is directly driven by environmental parameters. We propose to investigate the significance, function and control of biological rhythms in Arctic animals. With i) field studies of free-ranging Svalbard reindeer using advanced radiotelemetry systems for behavioural measurements and ii) behavioural and physiological studies of Svalbard reindeer and Norwegian mainland reindeer under controlled light conditions. we aim to provide information about the unction and flexibility of the biological clock in environmental adaptation.
Training content (objective. benefit and expected impact)
We expect to increase the understanding in the management of animal life in the Arctic, where precise timing is extremely important. We have the long term goal of elucidating the impact that changes in the climate are likely to have on the reproductive success in these animals. Principle objective is to exploit the unusual photoperiodic environment and the unique research model which Svalbard reindeer represent to provide new knowledge about the function and physiological adaptation of biological rhythms at high latitudes.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)