Volume 37 Issue 2
Mar.  2016
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Jia-Qi WANG, Jia-Jia WANG, Xu-Jian WU, Wei-Hong ZHENG, Jin-Song LIU. Short photoperiod increases energy intake, metabolic thermogenesis and organ mass in silky starlings Sturnus sericeus. Zoological Research, 2016, 37(2): 75-83. doi: 10.13918/j.issn.2095-8137.2016.2.75
Citation: Jia-Qi WANG, Jia-Jia WANG, Xu-Jian WU, Wei-Hong ZHENG, Jin-Song LIU. Short photoperiod increases energy intake, metabolic thermogenesis and organ mass in silky starlings Sturnus sericeus. Zoological Research, 2016, 37(2): 75-83. doi: 10.13918/j.issn.2095-8137.2016.2.75

Short photoperiod increases energy intake, metabolic thermogenesis and organ mass in silky starlings Sturnus sericeus

doi: 10.13918/j.issn.2095-8137.2016.2.75
Funds:  This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31470472), the National Undergraduate "Innovation" Project and Zhejiang Province "Xinmiao" Project.
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  • Corresponding author: Jin-Song LIU
  • Received Date: 2015-11-03
  • Rev Recd Date: 2016-01-10
  • Publish Date: 2016-03-18
  • Environmental cues play important roles in the regulation of an animal's physiology and behavior. One such cue, photoperiod, plays an important role in the seasonal acclimatization of birds. It has been demonstrated that an animal's body mass, basal metabolic rate (BMR), and energy intake, are all affected by photoperiod. The present study was designed to examine photoperiod induced changes in the body mass, metabolism and metabolic organs of the silky starling, Sturnus sericeus. Captive silky starlings increased their body mass and BMR during four weeks of acclimation to a short photoperiod. Birds acclimated to a short photoperiod also increased the mass of certain organs (liver, gizzard and small intestine), and both gross energy intake (GEI) and digestible energy intake (DEI), relative to those acclimated to a long photoperiod. Furthermore, BMR was positively correlated with body mass, liver mass, GEI and DEI. These results suggest that silky starlings increase metabolic thermogenesis when exposed to a short photoperiod by increasing their body and metabolic organ mass, and their GEI and DEI. These findings support the hypothesis that bird species from temperate climates typically display high phenotypic flexibility in thermogenic capacity.
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