Standard Article

Integration of Biological Clocks and Rhythms

  1. Roberto Refinetti

Published Online: 1 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/cphy.c100088

Comprehensive Physiology

Comprehensive Physiology

How to Cite

Refinetti, R. 2012. Integration of Biological Clocks and Rhythms. Comprehensive Physiology. 2:1213–1239.

Author Information

  1. Circadian Rhythm Laboratory, University of South Carolina, Walterboro, South Carolina

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 APR 2012


Animals, plants, and microorganisms exhibit numerous biological rhythms that are generated by numerous biological clocks. This article summarizes experimental data pertinent to the often-ignored issue of integration of multiple rhythms. Five contexts of integration are discussed: (i) integration of circadian rhythms of multiple processes within an individual organism, (ii) integration of biological rhythms operating in different time scales (such as tidal, daily, and seasonal), (iii) integration of rhythms across multiple species, (iv) integration of rhythms of different members of a species, and (v) integration of rhythmicity and physiological homeostasis. Understanding of these multiple rhythmic interactions is an important first step in the eventual thorough understanding of how organisms arrange their vital functions temporally within and without their bodies. © 2012 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 2:1213-1239, 2012.