Daily increments of light hours near vernal equinox synchronize circannual testicular cycle of tropical spotted Munia

Chandola-Saklani, Asha ; Thapliyal, Ashish ; Negi, Kiran ; Diyundi, Subhash C. ; Choudhary, Bimalendu (2004) Daily increments of light hours near vernal equinox synchronize circannual testicular cycle of tropical spotted Munia Chronobiology International, 21 (4-5). pp. 553-569. ISSN 0742-0528

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Official URL: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1081/CBI-2...


In some long-lived organisms, particularly in tropical birds and migrants that spend part of the year close to the equator, endogenous circannual rhythms have been demonstrated in seasonal events like reproduction, molt, and migration. These, like the circadian rhythms, are expressed only in constant conditions of illumination with a periodicity deviating from 1 yr. If birds followed this periodicity, they would soon be out of phase with the annual calendar and perish and, therefore, they would need to be synchronized. However, almost nothing is known as to how synchronization is achieved in birds. Herein, with the help of a suitable model, viz., the tropical spotted munia and long-term experiments conducted in series over a 5-yr period, we provide direct evidence for the first time indicating that the segment of annual photocycle with maximal rate of increase prior to vernal equinox (approximately between mid-February and mid-March) synchronizes the circannual reproductive cycle with the monsoon period of ample food supply through a phase delay. Data also indicate, contrary to the prevalent view, that birds in the tropics can perceive minor changes in day-length, that birds respond to progressive changes in day-length as distinct from responding to fixed photoperiods of particular durations, and that birds can actually distinguish the quality of the environmental signal, viz., vernal equinox from early spring, or increasing days of spring from decreasing days of autumn. The underlying mechanisms, although yet to be identified, appear to involve a gonado-inhibitory rather than the conventional gonado-stimulatory response to increasing day-length. The photoperiodic responses of spotted munia are distinctly different from that of any "long-day" birds described thus far and do not conform to the prevalent "circadian coincidence" hypothesis of photoperiodism.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Informa Healthcare.
Keywords:Circannual Clock; Photogonadal Response; Photoperiodism; Tropical Spotted Munia; Synchronization; Tropical Bird; Daylight Increments vs. Fixed Durations
ID Code:4284
Deposited On:18 Oct 2010 08:58
Last Modified:27 Jan 2011 07:38

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