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Both low temperature and shorter duration of food availability delay testicular regression and affect the daily cycle in body temperature in a songbird

Dawson, Alistair. 2018 Both low temperature and shorter duration of food availability delay testicular regression and affect the daily cycle in body temperature in a songbird. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 91 (4). 917-924. https://doi.org/10.1086/698109

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Abstract/Summary

Photoperiodic control of reproduction in birds is based on two processes, a positive effect leading to gonadal maturation and an inhibitory effect subsequently inducing regression. Nonphotoperiodic cues can modulate photoperiodic control, particularly the inhibitory process. In previous studies of common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), (1) restriction of food availability to 8 h after dawn had little effect on testicular maturation but dramatically delayed subsequent regression and (2) lower ambient temperature also had little effect during maturation but delayed regression. Could the effects of food restriction and temperature share a common underlying mechanism? Four groups of starlings were kept on a simulated natural cycle in photoperiod in a 2 × 2 factorial experimental design. Two groups were held under an ambient temperature of 16°C, and the other two were held under 6°C. One of each of these groups had food provided ad lib., and in the other two groups access to food was denied 7 h after dawn. In both the ad lib. food groups and the food-restricted groups, lower temperature had little effect on testicular maturation but delayed subsequent regression and molt. In both the 16°C groups and the 6°C groups, food restriction had no effect on testicular maturation but delayed regression and molt. The daily cycle in body temperature was recorded in all groups when the photoperiod had reached 12L∶12D, the photoperiod at which regression is initiated. In both 6°C groups, nighttime body temperature was lower than in the 16°C groups, a characteristic of shorter photoperiods. In the two ad lib. food groups high daytime temperature was maintained until dusk, whereas in the two food-restricted groups body temperature began to decrease after food withdrawal. Thus, both lower temperature and food restriction delayed regression, as if the photoperiod was shorter than it actually was, and both resulted in daily cycles in body temperature that reflected cycles under shorter photoperiods. This implies that the daily cycle in body temperature is possibly a common pathway through which nonphotoperiodic cues may operate.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1086/698109
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1522-2152
Additional Keywords: starling, testis, annual cycle, body temperature, energy, food, photoperiod, temperature, thyroid
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Date made live: 26 Jun 2018 09:39 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/520376

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