Pinealectomy and LL Abolished Circadian Perching Rhythms but Did Not Alter Circannual Reproductive or Fattening Rhythms in Finches
AbstractIn the subtropical finch, spotted munia (Lonchura punctulata) circannual rhythms (of gonads, fattening, feeding) have been demonstrated in an information-free environment of continuous illumination (LL), rendering it an ideal model for research on the physiology of the circannual clock. In an attempt to understand the involvement, if any, of the circadian system in the genesis of circannual rhythms, we studied the effect of pinealectomy (LL 15 lux) and strong continuous illumination (LL 300 lux), both known to abolish circadian rhythms, on the circadian perch-hopping rhythm and on the circannual rhythm of reproduction and fattening in the same birds. While both pinealectomy and LL 300 lux treatments abolished the circadian rhythm of motor activity, they had no effect on the circannual rhythms of gonadal size and fattening. If the endogenous circadian rhythm in perch-hopping can be taken to reflect the circadian clock mechanism associated with gonadal functioning, present results suggest that circannual rhythm of reproduction in spotted munia is independent of circadian events.