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Macrophysiology: A Conceptual Reunification

1. Biodiversity and Macroecology Group, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, United Kingdom;2. Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa;3. Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, United Kingdom;4. Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853; and Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Institute, Roan Mountain, Tennessee 37687;5. British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, United Kingdom;6. Department of Biology and Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523;7. Institute of Biology, University of Bialystok, Swierkowa 20B, 15‐950 Bialystok, Poland;8. Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706;9. Integrative Ecophysiology, Alfred Wegener Institute, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany;10. Departament de Genètica i de Microbiologia, Facultat de Biociències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain;11. Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada;12. Romberg Tiburon Center and Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, Tiburon, California 94920;13. Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Faculty of AgriSciences, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa;14. Institute of Plant Sciences and Oeschger Centre, University of Bern, Altenbergrain 21, CH‐3013 Bern, Switzerland

Widespread recognition of the importance of biological studies at large spatial and temporal scales, particularly in the face of many of the most pressing issues facing humanity, has fueled the argument that there is a need to reinvigorate such studies in physiological ecology through the establishment of a macrophysiology. Following a period when the fields of ecology and physiological ecology had been regarded as largely synonymous, studies of this kind were relatively commonplace in the first half of the twentieth century. However, such large‐scale work subsequently became rather scarce as physiological studies concentrated on the biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying the capacities and tolerances of species. In some sense, macrophysiology is thus an attempt at a conceptual reunification. In this article, we provide a conceptual framework for the continued development of macrophysiology. We subdivide this framework into three major components: the establishment of macrophysiological patterns, determining the form of those patterns (the very general ways in which they are shaped), and understanding the mechanisms that give rise to them. We suggest ways in which each of these components could be developed usefully.