Contemporary conservation science benefits from the perspectives of a variety of different disciplines, including a recent synergy with physiology, an interface known as 'conservation physiology'. To evaluate the degree of interaction between conservation and animal/plant physiology, we conducted three bibliometric analyses. We first pursued the use of the term 'conservation physiology' since its first definition in 2006 to determine how frequently it has been used and in which publications. Secondly, we evaluated the occurrence of conservation terms in animal and plant physiology journals, physiological terms in conservation journals, and a combination of terms in ecology journals. Thirdly, we explored trends in a subset of conservation physiology articles published between 2006 and 2012. We identified a surge in the use of the term 'conservation physiology' in 2012, after only a slow increase in usage between 2006 and 2011. Conservation journals tend to have been significantly more active in publishing conservation physiology than animal physiology, plant physiology or ecology journals. However, we found evidence that ecology and animal physiology journals began to incorporate more conservation physiology after 2006, while conservation- and plant physiology-themed journals did not. Among 299 conservation physiology articles that we identified, vertebrate taxa have been over-represented in conservation physiology compared with their relative taxonomic abundance, invertebrate taxa have been under-represented, and plants have been represented in proportion to their relative taxonomic abundance; however, those findings are reasonably consistent with publication trends in conservation biology. Diffuse distribution of conservation physiology papers throughout the literature may have been a barrier to the growth of the subdiscipline when the interface was emerging. The introduction of the focused journal Conservation Physiology in 2013 may address that deficiency. Moreover, development of a unifying framework could help to aggregate knowledge and attract potential contributors by highlighting and facilitating access to and application of conservation physiology.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Bibliometrics, Biodiversity conservation, Conservation physiology, Physiology
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1093/conphys/cou003
Journal Conservation Physiology
Citation
Lennox, R. (Robert), & Cooke, S.J. (2014). State of the interface between conservation and physiology: A bibliometric analysis. Conservation Physiology, 2(1). doi:10.1093/conphys/cou003