Seasonal Breeding (seasonal + breeding)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Seasonal variation in reproductive behaviour of bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus Pallas, 1766) in an equatorial savannah ecosystem

Ann Apio
Abstract While several authors suggest that bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus Pallas) from tropical areas with an approximately bimodal rainfall pattern breed throughout the year, there is also a report of seasonal breeding in this species. In this study, we provide indirect evidence of seasonality in reproduction by analysing behavioural data (e.g. rates of mixed-sex sightings) in a population of bushbuck inhabiting an equatorial savannah ecosystem in western Uganda. Observation rates of mixed-sex sightings were correlated with rainfall patterns. We suggest that peaks in reproductive behaviour following the wet season may be advantageous if calves are born during the next wet season, when fresh vegetation is available. Résumé Alors que plusieurs auteurs suggèrent que le bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus Pallas) des régions tropicales qui ont un régime de pluies à peu près bimodal se reproduisent tout au long de l'année, il y a aussi un rapport signalant une reproduction saisonnière chez cette espèce. Dans la présente étude, nous apportons des preuves indirectes d'une saisonnalité de la reproduction par l'analyse des données comportementales (e.g. taux d'observations de sexes mélangés) dans une population de bushbucks habitant dans un écosystème de savane équatoriale, dans l'ouest de l'Ouganda. Les taux d'observations de groupes mélangés étaient liés aux chutes de pluies. Nous suggérons que les pics observés dans le comportement reproducteur en fonction de la saison des pluies peuvent être bénéfiques si les jeunes naissent durant la saison des pluies suivante, lorsque la végétation fraîche est abondante. [source]

Gonadotropin-Inhibitory Peptide in Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) in Different Reproductive Conditions, and in House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) Relative to Chicken-Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone

G. E. Bentley
Abstract Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) regulates reproduction in all vertebrates. Until recently, an antagonistic neuropeptide for gonadotropin was unknown. The discovery of an RFamide peptide in quail that inhibits gonadotropin release in vitro raised the possibility of direct hypothalamic inhibition of gonadotropin release. This peptide has now been named gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH). We investigated GnIH presence in the hypothalamus of two seasonally breeding songbird species, house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). Using immunocytochemistry (ICC), GnIH-containing neurones were localized in both species in the paraventricular nucleus, with GnIH-containing fibres visible in multiple brain locations, including the median eminence and brainstem. Double-label ICC with light microscopy and fluorescent ICC with confocal microscopy indicate a high probability of colocalization of GnIH with GnRH neurones and fibres within the avian brain. It is plausible that GnIH could be acting at the level of the hypothalamus to regulate gonadotropin release as well as at the pituitary gland. In a photoperiod manipulation experiment, GnIH-containing neurones were larger in birds at the termination of the breeding season than at other times, consistent with a role for this neuropeptide in the regulation of seasonal breeding. We have yet to elucidate the dynamics of GnIH synthesis and release at different times of year, but the data imply temporal regulation of this peptide. In summary, GnIH has the potential to regulate gonadotropin release at more than one level, and its distribution is suggestive of multiple regulatory functions in the central nervous system. [source]

Fallback foods, eclectic omnivores, and the packaging problem

Stuart A. Altmann
Abstract For omnivorous primates, as for other selective omnivores, the array of potential foods in their home ranges present a twofold problem: not all nutrients are present in any food in the requisite amounts or proportions and not all toxins and other costs are absent. Costs and benefits are inextricably linked. This so-called packaging problem is particularly acute during periods, often seasonal, when the benefit-to-cost ratios of available foods are especially low and animals must subsist on fallback foods. Thus, fallback foods represent the packaging problem in extreme form. The use of fallback foods by omnivorous primates is part of a suite of interconnected adaptations to the packaging problem, the commingling of costs and benefits in accessing food and other vital resources. These adaptations occur at every level of biological organization. This article surveys 16 types of potential adaptations of omnivorous primates to fallback foods and the packaging problem. Behavioral adaptations, in addition to finding and feeding on fallback foods, include minimizing costs and requirements, exploiting food outbreaks, living in social groups and learning from others, and shifting the home range. Adaptive anatomical and physiological traits include unspecialized guts and dentition, binocular color vision, agile bodies and limbs, Meissner's corpuscles in finger tips, enlargement of the neocortex, internal storage of foods and nutrients, and ability internally to synthesize compounds not readily available in the habitat. Finally, during periods requiring prolonged use of fallback foods, life history components may undergo changes, including reduction of parental investment, extended interbirth intervals, seasonal breeding or, in the extreme, aborted fetuses. Am J Phys Anthropol 140:615,629, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Seasonal and reproductive variation in body condition in captive female Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata)

Cécile Garcia
Abstract The geographic distribution of Japanese macaques includes populations with the most northern range of any primate species. Not surprisingly, females of this species are characterized by physiological adaptations and unique fat deposition mechanisms that facilitate their survival through the sometimes-harsh seasonal conditions of temperate climates, as well as sustaining the metabolic costs of mating, pregnancy, and lactation. Here, we explore the relationship between nutritional status, seasonality, and reproductive status using anthropometric and leptin measures from 14 captive female Japanese macaques. No seasonal patterns were found in the levels of leptin, but there were differences between seasons in anthropometric measures, specifically between the beginning and the end of the mating season. Females gained weight and accumulated energy reserves in fall to prepare for mating activity, and to survive the severe conditions of winter, which is also the period of gestation if pregnancy occurs. Lactating females had larger total skinfolds relative to nonlactating individuals, and females with older babies at the beginning of the mating season had larger abdominal skinfolds than did those with younger babies. There was a relationship between the likelihood of conception and nutritional status, with females that conceived during one mating season being in better condition at the end of their previous mating season. Together, these results suggest that, even in captive settings, seasonal breeding has a cost on the energetic demands of mating, and that higher condition (i.e. fatter) females could afford the demands of lactation and reproduced more rapidly. Am. J. Primatol. 72:277,286, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]