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Reproduction and thermo regulation in peromyscus leucopus effects of chronic short days



Reproduction and thermo regulation in peromyscus leucopus effects of chronic short days



Physiology & Behavior 26(2): 201-206



Seven groups of laboratory reared Connecticut P. leucopus were exposed to a 9L:15D [h light:h dark] photoperiod for either 6, 9, 12, 20, 25, 32 or 36 wk. An 8th group was maintained on 16L:8D. During the final 6 wk all mice were cold exposed (13.degree. C). Substantial reproductive regression occurred in females following 6 wk exposure to 9L:15D relative to 16L:8D animals. In males, a slight decrease in testicular weight occurred following 6 wk on 9L:15D; this effect was pronounced by 9 wk, along with a decrease in seminal vesicle weight. Reproductive recrudescence occurred in females by wk 32 and in males by wk 36. Between 10 and 12 wk on 9L:15D mice exhibited increases in nesting, incidence of daily torpor, and presence of the winter molt. These increases persisted through 36 wk on 9L:15D. An increase in the interscapular brown fat pad occurred between 12 and 25 wk. Reproductive and thermoregulatory characters respond differently to prolonged exposure to a short day photoperiod in this species.

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