, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 29-34

Short-day experience is not a prerequisite for the termination of photorefractoriness in the reproductive cycle of baya weaver,Ploceus philippinus

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Abstract

In most photoperiodic avian forms (irrespective of temperate or tropical distribution) including the baya weaver,Ploceus philippinus, seasonal reproduction comes to an end due to the development of a photoperiodically controlled photorefractory phase when birds cease to respond to the stimulatory effect of long days. In the present paper photoperiodic control of the termination of photorefractory phase has been examined by studying the effect of short-day exposure lasting 4–6 months on long-day response of birds. Results indicate that unlike in other photoperiodic birds short-day exposure of winter is not a prerequisite for the termination of photorefractory phase in the reproductive cycle of baya weaver. Artificial long days on the other hand hasten the termination of this phase. Refractory phase in baya weaver, therefore, unlike that in temperate forms, is a temporary state resulting most likely from a sequel of physiological events triggered by long days of spring/summer which temporarily mask the photostimulatory response. Spontaneous termination of photorefractoriness in birds of tropical habitats may have a selective value imparting to the reproductive cycle the necessary elasticity for adaptation to diverse ecological conditions.