Seasonal Reproduction

Photoperiodism and Biological Clocks
  • Jeffrey A. Elliott
  • Bruce D. Goldman


Most organisms undergo seasonal changes in physiology and behavior. These changes enable the various species to adapt to annual cycles in a variety of environmental factors, such as temperature, rainfall, and food availability. It is not surprising that most species have developed adaptations so that most or all of their reproductive activity occurs during a particular portion of the annual cycle. In some organisms, reproduction is confined to a very restricted interval. For example, the short-tailed shearwater is a bird that arrives on islands north of Tasmania in late September and lays almost all of its eggs between November 24 and November 27. The sooty tern breeds on Ascension Island in the Atlantic on every tenth full moon, whereas the same species breeds every 6 months on islands in the central Pacific (Sadleir, 1973).


Pineal Gland Syrian Hamster Circadian System Short Photoperiod Photoperiodic Response 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey A. Elliott
    • 1
  • Bruce D. Goldman
    • 2
  1. 1.Hopkins Marine Station, Department of Biological SciencesStanford UniversityPacific GroveUSA
  2. 2.Department of Bio-Behavioral SciencesUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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