SICB Annual Meeting 2017
January 4-8, 2017
New Orleans, LA

Symposium: Integrative Life-History of Whole-Organism Performance

Whole-organism performance traits constitute key links between animals and their environments. So important is performance to organismal survival and fitness that not only has it formed a cornerstone of the study of adaptation over the last ~40 years, it has also been codified as the central component of one of the most significant and influential heuristic concepts in evolutionary ecology - Arnold's (1983) ecomorphological paradigm. Simply put, variation among individuals in morphology and physiology results in variation in whole-organism performance (how well an organism accomplishes an ecologically relevant task), which in turn leads to variation in fitness. The success and breadth of whole-organism performance research as a branch of biological inquiry (and as a core research focus of much of SICB's membership) is a direct result of Arnold's groundbreaking framework.

Despite the success of the ecomorphological paradigm as an integrative framework, the study of performance has traditionally been conducted independent of yet another important organizing framework in evolutionary biology - that of life-history theory. Life-history theory is concerned with how and why organisms invest resources towards aspects of their phenotype. Investment of acquired energetic resources to a particular trait denies those same resources being allocated to a different trait. This constitutes the basis for life-history trade-offs, such as the ubiquitous trade-off between survival and fecundity. Whole-organism performance traits, such as locomotor capacity, are key to fitness and typically energetically expensive. As such, performance traits are themselves life-history traits, but performance is seldom integrated into life-history studies.

The way in which investigators have studied how whole-organism performance traits affect fitness and shape the evolution of physiology has paralleled the way in which investigators have studied how life-history decisions are made and govern fitness. Yet, these two fields of study have progressed for several decades with little to no overlap. We will use this symposium to unite these important fields by examining resource allocation priorities between the sexes and during ontogeny, the mechanisms behind allocation, and the fitness consequences of allocation to specific traits in nature. We thus aim to understand more fully both the factors that influence whole-organism performance but, just as importantly, how investment in performance affects other key fitness-related traits as well.

The aim of this symposium is to bring together experts from across the biological sciences - who do not necessarily belong to SICB or regularly contribute - to our meeting to develop an area of biology that is core to the interests of SICB. We will use expertise in the fields of life-history theory, functional morphology, ecoimmunology, endocrinology, evolution, ecology, behavior, and genomics to develop a framework for understanding how whole-organism performance is mechanistically linked to traditional life-history traits. Such a framework will move the fields of life-history theory and animal performance significantly forward.




S8-1 Saturday, Jan. 7, 08:00 LAILVAUX, SP*; HUSAK, JF: Predicting life-history trade-offs in whole-organism performance

S8-2 Saturday, Jan. 7, 08:30 FRENCH, S.S.: Trade-offs in ecoimmunology: Costs for individuals and populations

S8-3 Saturday, Jan. 7, 09:00 MARTIN, L. B.*; SCHREY, A. W.; HANSON, H. E.; KILVITIS, H. J.: The role of physiological integrators in avian range expansions

S8-4 Saturday, Jan. 7, 09:30 BONNEAUD, Camille*; RICHARDS, Adam; HERREL, Anthony; SEEBACHER, Frank; WILSON, Robbie: Using multi-level transcriptomics and metabolic measures to investigate the trade-off between performance and immunity

S8-5 Saturday, Jan. 7, 10:30 SNELL-ROOD, EC*; SWANSON, EM: The effect of nutrition on life-history trade-offs across species

S8-7 Saturday, Jan. 7, 11:30 HALE, M. E. *; HENDERSON, K. W. : Swimming kinematics and performance through early life history of fishes

S8-8 Saturday, Jan. 7, 13:30 DANTZER, Ben*; SWANSON, Eli M: Does hormonal pleiotropy constrain the independent evolution of performance and life history traits? A quantitative genetic approach.

S8-9 Saturday, Jan. 7, 14:00 ORR, T.J.*; GARLAND, T., Jr.: Complex reproductive traits and whole-organism performance

S8-10 Saturday, Jan. 7, 14:30 CAREAU, V*; WILSON, R.S.: Detecting Performance Trade-offs Using Multivariate Mixed Models

S8-11 Saturday, Jan. 7, 15:00 BRONIKOWSKI, Anne M.*; GANGLOFF, Eric J.; SCHWARTZ, Tonia S.: Life history phenotypes, metabolic performance and fitness in garter snakes with divergent life histories