Articles written in Journal of Biosciences
Volume 20 Issue 3 June 1995 pp 417-426
We have investigated the seasonal changes in food intake, body weight, gonadal volume and plasma concentrations of thyroxine, luteinizing hormone and testosterone in male blackheaded bunting (
Volume 39 Issue 3 June 2014 pp 485-491 Articles
The duration of life history state (LHS) reflects the adaptive strategy a species has evolved to cope with a changing environment. Inhabitants at different latitudes may thus have significant differences in the rates of metabolic and physiological processes underlying LHSs. Birds, in order to maximize their fitness in the environment in which they live, seasonally switch from one LHS to another during the year. The present study investigated whether an annual itinerary of a species would determine its rate of reaction to inductive long days. We compared the photoinduced cycles of changes in body mass and testes, as indices of migratory and reproductive LHSs, between two long day breeding species, the migratory redheaded bunting and non-migratory Indian weaverbird. Changes in body mass and testis size were measured in photosensitive buntings and weaverbirds (𝑛 = 7 each) on short days (LD 8:16) subjected first to 0.5 h weekly light increments until the light period was 13 h per day, and then maintained on LD 13:11 for another 32 weeks. A similar observation was recorded on a group of buntings (𝑛 = 14) and weaverbirds (𝑛 = 9) maintained on increasing natural day lengths (NDL; Lucknow, 26°55′ N, 80°59′ E) for 47 weeks. As predicted, the rates of induction of seasonal cycles under an identical inductive photoperiod were significantly faster in temperate buntings with five annual LHSs than in the subtropical weaverbirds with three annual LHSs. This suggests that annual itineraries of songbirds with which they may have evolved with at their breeding latitudes, determine their response to the external photoperiodic environment.