On a global scale, changing climates are affecting ecological systems across multiple levels of biological organization. Moreover, climates are changing at rates unprecedented in recent geological history. Thus, one of the most pressing concerns of the modern era is to understand the biological responses to climate such that society can both adapt and implement measures that attempt to offset the negative impacts of a rapidly changing climate. One crucial question, to understand organismal responses to climate, is whether the ability of organisms to adapt can keep pace with quickly changing environments. To address this question, a syntheses of knowledge from a broad set of biological disciplines will be needed that integrates information from the fields of ecology, behavior, physiology, genetics, and evolution. This symposium assembled a diverse group of scientists from these subdisciplines to present their perspectives regarding the ability of organisms to adapt to changing climates. Specifically, the goals of this symposia were to (1) highlight what each discipline brings to a discussion of organismal responses to climate, (2) to initiate and foster a discussion to break barriers in the transfer of knowledge across disciplines, and (3) to synthesize an approach to address ongoing issues concerning biological responses to climate.
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