Contents 1 Timing of seasonal breeding 2 Physiology 2.1 Day length 3 See also 4 References

Timing of seasonal breeding[edit] The breeding season is when seasonal breeders reproduce. Various variables can affect when it occurs.[3] A primary influence on the timing of reproduction is food availability. Organisms generally time especially stressing events of reproduction to occur in sync with increases in food availability. This is not always true although, both because of the importance of other factors and the invalidation of this generalization. For example, in species reproducing at high latitudes, food availability before breeding is more important that availability during reproduction itself. Other factors can also be responsible. For example, species that are predated frequently may time reproduction to occur out of sync with the peak in density of predators.[4]

Physiology[edit] The hypothalamus is considered to be the central control for reproduction due to its role in hormone regulation.[5] Hence, factors that determine when a seasonal breeder will be ready for mating affect this tissue. This is achieved specificlly through changes in the production of the hormone GnRH. GnRH in turn transits to the pituitary where it promotes the secretion of the gonadotropins LH and FSH, both pituitary hormones critical for reproductive function and behavior, into the bloodstream. Changes in gonadotropin secretion initiate the end of anestrus in females. Day length[edit] Seasonal breeding readiness is strongly regulated by length of day (photoperiod) and thus season. Photoperiod likely affects the seasonal breeder through changes in melatonin secretion by the pineal gland that ultimately alter GnRH release by the hypothalamus.[3] Hence, seasonal breeders can be divided into groups based on fertility period. "Long day" breeders cycle when days get longer (spring) and are in anestrus in fall and winter. Some animals that are long day breeders include; ring-tailed lemurs, horses, hamsters, groundhogs, and mink. "Short day" breeders cycle when the length of daylight shortens (fall) and are in anestrus in spring and summer. The decreased light during the fall decreases the firing of the retinal nerves, in turn decreasing the excitation of the superior cervical ganglion, which then decreases the inhibition of the pineal gland, finally resulting in an increase in melatonin. This increase in melatonin results in an increase in GnRH and subsequently an increase in the hormones LH and FSH, which stimulate cyclicity.[6]

See also[edit] Rut (mammalian reproduction), the mating season of various ungulate species

References[edit] ^ Prendergast BJ (2005). "Internalization of seasonal time". Horm. Behav. 48 (5): 503–11. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2005.05.013. PMID 16026787.  ^ Johnson, A.D. (1970). Development, Anatomy, and Physiology. Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-386601-4.  ^ a b M. N. Lehman; R. L. Goodman; F. J. Karsch; G. L. Jackson; S. J. Berriman; H. T. Jansen (1997). "The GnRH System of Seasonal Breeders: Anatomy and Plasticity". Brain Res. Bull. 44 (4): 445–57. doi:10.1016/S0361-9230(97)00225-6. PMID 9370210.  ^ Williams, Cory T.; Klaassen, Marcel; Barnes, Brian M.; Buck, C. Loren; Arnold, Walter; Giroud, Sylvain; Vetter, Sebastian G.; Ruf, Thomas (2017). "Seasonal reproductive tactics: annual timing and the capital-to-income breeder continuum". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 372 (1734): 20160250. doi:10.1098/rstb.2016.0250. ISSN 0962-8436.  ^ "An Overview of the Hypothalamus". EndocrineWeb. Retrieved 2017-01-26.  ^ L. Senger, Phillip (2005). Pathways to Pregnancy and Parturition (2nd Revised ed.). p. 154.  Retrieved from "" Categories: Animal breedingEthologyFertilityReproduction in animalsHidden categories: All articles with unsourced statementsArticles with unsourced statements from August 2017

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