Photoperiodic Control of the Annual Cycle of Birds at Different Latitudes

Dawson, A.. 2009 Photoperiodic Control of the Annual Cycle of Birds at Different Latitudes. In: Morris, S.; Vosloo, A., (eds.) Molecules to migration: The pressures of life. Bologna, Italy, Medimond, 477-486.

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Photoperiod is the major cue used by birds to time the stages of the annual cycle (breeding, moult and migration), but exactly how remains unclear. Birds at different latitudes will experience very different changes in photoperiod. If starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, are held under simulated ‘annual’ cycles in photoperiod that last between 3 and 24 months, or to cycles of different amplitude (equivalent to latitudes of 9° and 52°) the timing of gonadal maturation, regression and moult entrain to the imposed photoperiod. An advanced artificial summer solstice advances gonadal regression. These data suggest that neither a circannual clock nor the absolute length of photoperiods alone, play the major role in timing stages of the annual cycle. Birds may instead continually monitor change in photoperiod to estimate calendar time.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biodiversity > BD01 Conservation and Restoration of Biodiversity > BD01.3 Population and community processes
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Watt
ISBN: 9788875874780
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Ecology and Environment
Related URLs:
Date made live: 28 Apr 2009 12:19 +0 (UTC)

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