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The effect of latitude on photoperiodic control of gonadal maturation, regression and molt in birds

Dawson, Alistair. 2013 The effect of latitude on photoperiodic control of gonadal maturation, regression and molt in birds. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 190. 129-133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2013.05.017

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Abstract/Summary

Photoperiod is the major cue used by birds to time breeding seasons and molt. However, the annual cycle in photoperiod changes with latitude. Within species, for temperate and high latitude species, gonadal maturation and breeding start earlier at lower latitudes but regression and molt both occur at similar times at different latitudes. Earlier gonadal maturation can be explained simply by the fact that considerable maturation occurs before the equinox when photoperiod is longer at lower latitudes – genetic differences between populations are not necessary to explain earlier breeding at lower latitudes. Gonadal regression is caused either by absolute photorefractoriness or, in some species with long breeding seasons, relative photorefractoriness. In either case, the timing of regression and molt cannot be explained by absolute prevailing photoperiod or rate of change in photoperiod – birds appear to be using more subtle cues from the pattern of change in photoperiod. However, there may be no difference between absolute and relative photorefractory species in how they utilise the annual cycle in photoperiod to time regression.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2013.05.017
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 2 - Ecological Processes in the Environment > BD - 2.4 - Estimate the impact of the main drivers and pressures on biodiversity ...
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 2 - Ecological Processes in the Environment
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Watt
ISSN: 0016-6480
Additional Keywords: photoperiodism, birds, latitude, breeding season, gonadal maturation, photorefractoriness moult
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Zoology
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 13 Aug 2013 15:01 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/502922

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